Villa will be confident after good wins at Old Trafford and the Stadium of Light over the past week. It’s nudged them into the top four but Stoke fans will remember that they’re not infallible after we came back from 2-0 down to snatch a point with two goals in the last five minutes in the same fixture last season. But the Potters will be looking to further improve on their away form which has seen us lose only three times on the road so far.
The Potters had the luxury of a week long rest whilst most of the League were playing midweek fixtures. Both Arsene Wenger (never one to look for an excuse) and Villa boss, Martin O’Neill have criticised the League for planning fixtures which clash with European matches.
O’Neill complained: ‘Stoke City didn’t play this week and it stands to reason they will be fresher than us’
Aston Villa Team News:
Despite their midweek win at Sunderland, Villa have no new injury concerns or suspensions to worry about.
Player to watch: Gabriel Agbonlahor
The striker is one of five Villa players that would like to be on the flight to South Africa with England in the summer. So far he’s notched up nine goals for the Villains
Stoke City Team News:
Stoke will be without Robert Huth who picked up his 5th yellow last Saturday. Liam Lawrence will be after his 100th Stoke appearance after recovering from flu.
Player to watch: Tuncay
Deserves to keep his starting position after a MotM performance last week when he scored his first goal in his first start at the Brit.
Match Facts & Stats
Sat 26th December: Man City (away) kick-off: 3pm
Mon 28th December: Birmingham (home) kick-off: 3pm