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VILLA V SUNDERLAND
Villa head into Tuesday nights clash rejuvenated following a determined 2-1 win away at QPR at the weekend.
Albert Adomah, Keinan Davies and Conor Hourihane all caught the eye with excellent individual performances, allaying fears that injuries to Kodjia, Hogan & Terry would bring the season to a grinding halt.
Sunderland arrive at Villa Park is pretty awful footballing shape, but having made a promising step in appointing Chris Coleman as manager. The former Fulham boss had been expected to sign a new contract with Wales and his acquisition by The Championships bottom club has been described as “a coup”.
It is arguably as much a shock for the Welsh FA as it is a career risk for Coleman, with Sunderland’s listing badly as a football club generally. There are striking similarities to Ellis Short’s ownership to that of former Villa “custodian” Randy Lerner, wherein our sympathies lie.
Bruce’s aim has to be to seize upon the visitors struggles and attempt to nullify any new manager “bounce”.
Villa have worked hard after a sluggish start to the campaign to establish amongst the chasing pack, but have yet to string together a number of consecutive wins at crucial times to being asking questions of the top 4.
This is an opportunity not to be missed.
- Visitors away form is worsening, dropping from 17th (over 8 games) to 23rd (over last 4)
- Villa have the 4th best home form in the division based on the last 4 fixtures.
- Form last 10 games: Villa (2nd) – Sunderland (24th)
- Villa won 2-1 at QPR last time out.
- However, fell to a disappointing home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday before this.
- Sunderland drew 2-2 with Millwall in their last game.
- This is now the longest winless run on English soil. Ever. (20 games)
- Sunderland currently averaging 2+ away goals conceded per match.
- Sunderland have the 2nd worst defensive record in the division.
- Sunderland haven’t kept a clean sheet away from home this term.
- Black cats have secured 64% of their points total (11) on the road.
- Albert Adomah is Villa’s top scorer with 7 – but only 2 scored at Villa Park.
- 4 of 5 of in form Conor Hourihane goals have come on home soil.
- Sunderland have won just 1 of their 17 fixtures this season.
- Villa could rise as high as 4th with a victory.
- Jonathan Kodjia remains injured with a recurrence of an ankle problem.
- Scott Hogan is out for at least a month after stomach surgery.
- Chris Samba will deputise for injured Captain, John Terry.
- Lee Cattermole misses the trip to Villa Park due to suspension.
- Billy Jones & Kone are injured for the visitors.
- Duncan Watmore and Marc Wilson are injury doubts.
- Winger Aiden McGeady is one to watch.
- Calamity keeper Robbin Ruiter is certainly one to test, after a comedy showing at Millwall.