Aston Villa needs to win these games. They're at home, Cardiff City is beatable, and with the way the schedule sets up the rest of the calendar year this could be the beginning of a really strong run. But they need to get the first one out of the way, and given how things have gone at Villa Park this season there's not a ton of call for optimism.
Still, there are reasons to believe that Villa can take three points here. Chance conversion is of course vital, as better finishing could have very well meant three points against West Ham last weekend. Cardiff has scored just nine times this season-same as Villa, for reference-so hopefully the defense won't be under a ton of pressure. Villa's the more talented side, and it would be really quite nice if they could play like it at home for once.
Get three points here, and Villa's setting themselves up for what could be a nice finish to 2013. Otherwise, things are going to start feeling a bit too familiar.