Saturday, 3 February 2018

Aston Villa vs Burton Albion Match Preview, Possible Lineups + Other Today's Championship Fixtures

With the two teams at opposite ends of the table and in vastly contrasting form, it is easy to see why Villa are favourites for today's clash.

Aston Villa vs Burton Albion
English League Championship
Date: Saturday, 3rd February 2018
Kick-off at 16:00 - Nigerian Time
Venue: Villa Park (Birmingham).
Burton's new loan signings may prove important in the long run, but the trip to Villa Park will not be a day Nigel Clough is expecting to take three points - particularly with Villa on their best run of form since relegation in 2016.

John Terry's return from injury at the back, and the signing of a proven goalscorer in Lewis Grabban all bolster Villa's line-up, and anything less than a home win at Villa Park would be a big shock.

Steve Bruce's side put four past Burton earlier in the season, and they will be hopeful of a similar result - particularly with Burton shipping 12 goals in their last two games.

Darren Bent is a proven goalscorer, and a bit of a coup for Burton to have acquired, but up against Terry and James Chester he could be in for a frustrating afternoon.

Villa should win, and they should win comfortably - they have the form, the momentum, and the star players to make it a miserable afternoon for Burton Albion.

TEAM NEWS:

Aston Villa - New loan signing Lewis Grabban could make his Villa debut up front against Burton Albion, having joined from Bournemouth. Grabban scored 12 goals in 20 games on loan at Sunderland in the first-half of the season and will hope to continue that form at the top end of the table. Fellow loan signing Axel Tuanzebe joined from Manchester United and was on the bench against Sheffield United, though whether he will manage to dislodge James Chester as John Terry's defensive partner remains to be seen. 

Burton Albion - Manchester City loanee Jacob Davenport could slot straight into the starting XI in central midfield, while Darren Bent and Martin Samuelsen are also set to continue after their arrivals this January. Tom Naylor is most likely to make way for Davenport, with Luke Murphy set to partner the new arrival in the middle of midfield.

TEAM FORMS: 

Aston Villa are in blistering form, bouncing back from a sticky patch of results in December to win their last five league games. Though Peterborough United dumped them out of the FA Cup, their league form has been hugely impressive - conceding just one goal in their run of victories, which was extended by Robert Snodgrass' last-minute winner against Sheffield United on Tuesday night.

Burton - A 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on New Year's Day failed to spark a revival in Burton Albion's form, with four straight defeats since then. After losing 1-0 in the FA Cup to Birmingham City, Burton have lost their last three league games, conceding 12 goals in the process - 3-1 defeats at home to QPR and Reading sandwiching a 6-0 pasting at Fulham in their most recent away match.

PREDICTED LINEUPS:

Aston Villa (4-1-4-1): Johnstone; Elmohamady, Terry, Chester, Hutton; Hourihane; Snodgrass, Grealish, Bjarnason, Adomah; Grabban.

Burton (5-4-1): Bywater; Brayford, Buxton, Turner, McFadzean, Flanagan; Akins, Murphy, Davenport, Samuelsen; Bent

KEY STATS:
  • Aston Villa and Burton Albion - perhaps unsurprisingly given their respective histories - met for the first time last season, and Villa are unbeaten in the three matches they have now played.
  • They won their only previous fixture at Villa Park 2-1 last season, before a 1-1 draw at Burton, but then stormed to a 4-0 win at the Pirelli Stadium earlier in this campaign.
  • Albert Adomah scored twice, with Keinan Davis and Robert Snodgrass adding the other two.
PREDICTION:

Aston Villa 2-0 Burton Albion —   Aston Villa won comfortably in the reverse fixture, and given their current form - and Burton's lack of form, and sheer amount of recent goals conceded - it is hard to back anything other than a comprehensive Villa victory.

TODAY'S CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES IN FULL:

16:00  —   Aston Villa VS Burton Albion

16:00  —   Derby County VS Brentford

16:00  —   Fulham VS Nottingham Forest

16:00  —   Leeds United VS Cardiff City

16:00  —   Norwich City VS  Middlesbrough

16:00  —   Preston North End VS Hull City

16:00  —   Queens Park Rangers VS Barnsley

16:00  —   Reading VS Millwall

16:00  —   Sheffield Wednesday VS Birmingham City

16:00  —   Sunderland VS Ipswich Town

18:30  —   Wolverhampton Wanderers VS Sheffield United

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