Moving on Up: Villa Get Four Points Before Facing Stoke

New tumblr idea: AstonVillaPlayersPumpingTheirArms.tumblr.com - Christopher Lee

Aston Villa took advantage of a fairly easy week by snagging four points from two matches. If they can keep that up, they'll put relegation fears behind them quickly.

Wow. Villa came into a week with two matches, and they got four points and moved up two positions in the table. That's... refreshing! In case they give an award for most meaningless statistical analysis, I'd like to point out that, for the first time this season, Villa have more EPL matches in which they haven't lost than matches they have lost. It's not much, but remember, those are all points. We'll take whatever we can get.

This week sees Villa continue their breathe-easier run as they play host to Stoke City on Saturday. A win there, and I think we all start getting irrationally excited again. Well, at least I do. Let's get on with Setting the Table.

Just The Facts, Please


Position W D L GD Pts
Aston Villa 16th 3 5 7 -11 14

Form (Last 5): L L D W D

Results Last Week: Aston Villa 1-0 Reading (EPL); QPR 1-1 Aston Villa (EPL)

Upcoming Fixtures:

  • First Team:
    Stoke City - Saturday, December 8, 1500 GMT, 1000 Eastern
  • Reserves:
    None

Injuries

Aston Villa Depth Chart

New Injuries Last Week:

  • Ron Vlaar - calf/shin (I think I forgot him last week)
  • Enda Stevens - ankle/foot (against Reading)

The Week That Was

  • Lets lead with a really wonderful piece of news. After some early struggles in the group stages of the NextGen Series, Aston Villa secured their place in the final sixteen by traveling to Sporting Lisbon (who had won the Birmingham leg of the pairing 1-3) and scoring five goals en route to a 1-5 victory. Five goals!

    The U19 side used a goal from Janoi Donacien (who?) and a brace each from Michael Drennan and Graham Burke. The U19 assistant manager said of the match, "I would say that was in the top three performances I have ever seen and I've been here for 25 years."

    The draw for the final sixteen is still a ways from happening (I don't really get how some clubs have only played four matches while Villa's entire group is done), but you will all be happy to know that, in addition to Villa advancing, Manchester City has flamed out of the competition.
  • Also worth noting that the U21 team is in second in Group 2 of the Barclay's U21 Premier League. Their latest win came at Newcastle with goals by Samir Carruthers, Graham Burke, and Michael Drennan. If the Villa senior squad can't start scoring soon, apparently the youngsters have some firepower waiting in the wings. Good to know!
  • Villa saw themselves get drawn in the FA Cup, and they will face Championship side Ipswich Town. Considering how unfavorable Villa cup draws tend to be, this is pretty great news.

Match Notes

Aston Villa 1-0 Reading (EPL)
Christian Benteke (80')

  • This match feels like it was ages ago. Remember last Tuesday? No? Neither do I really.
  • Oh wait... I think it's coming back to me...

    Benteke_goal_medium
  • It's becoming clearer...

    Benteke_2
  • Yeah... that's the stuff.
  • You can find our recap here.
  • The WhoScored recap is here.

QPR 1-1 Aston Villa (EPL)
Brett Holman (8'), Jamie Mackie (18')

  • Guess who was back on the bench? (Note: I realize that sentence isn't, strictly speaking, a question, but it looks really really weird with a period rather than a question mark. Thoughts on this sentence structure?) It was Darren Bent! Guess who didn't see the pitch. (See? Looks weird.) Darren Bent!
  • Brett Holman scored his first goal for Aston Villa, and to be honest, it feels like it was always destined to happen. The guy has such an incredible work rate that he seems to be always creating chances. Against Arsenal, if you remember, he nearly struck the goal of the season. Well, this one wasn't quite that good, but it certainly wasn't ugly either:

    Holman_goal_1_medium
  • Holman is quickly becoming one of my very favorite players. He brings a lot to the pitch for about 65 minutes, and then he's too exhausted to go on. But those 65 minutes are a lot of fun. Here, have another angle of the goal:

    Holman_goal_2__medium
  • Of course, Villa would give up the tying goal 10 minutes later. Sure, it sucks not to snag all three points from the worst team in the league, but getting a point on the road is - in almost every situation - an acceptable result.
  • You can find our recap here.
  • The WhoScored recap is here.

Looking Ahead

  • Villa get a nice and quiet week. Their only action is hosting Stoke City on Saturday.
  • Stoke City just beat West Brom, however, and are not a team to be taken too lightly. Nevertheless, I think we can all hope for a point and pray for three. Boy, wouldn't it be great to see a good run of form?
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