Two matches, two points, and a chance to do it all again this week. Aston Villa, ladies and gentlemen!
Just The Facts, Please
Form (Last 5, most recent first): D D W D L
Results Last Week: West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Aston Villa (EPL), Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland (EPL)
- First Team:
at Southampton (EPL) - Wednesday, December 4, 1945 GMT, 1445 Eastern
at Fulham (EPL) - Sunday, December 8, 1330 GMT, 0830 Eastern
Tracking Villa's Progress
A look at how Aston Villa are doing compared to corresponding fixtures from last season. For a more full explanation of the corresponding fixtures table, see here.
|∆ Scored||∆ Allowed||∆ Points|
The match against Sunderland was the first time this season that Villa got fewer points from a fixture than they did last year. For all the trouble this team has had, that's a shocking number. Aston Villa aren't great, but they're so much better than they were last year.
For this week, any points from the matches at Southampton or Fulham will be an improvement over last year.
New Injuries Last Week:
- None! We played two matches with no injuries! Small victories!
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Aston Villa (EPL)
Shane Long (3’, 11'), Karim El Ahmadi (67’), Ashley Westwood (76’)
- Maybe this match is the reason we all had to sit through the dreadfully boring 90 minutes against Sunderland on Saturday.
- It, of course, started miserably. Shane Long scored two goals in the first 11 minutes and Aston Villa looked as if they wanted to be anywhere but on the pitch. There was absolutely no creativity and it looked as if West Brom would coast to an easy victory. In fact, I began writing up the instant reaction at halftime, essentially writing Villa's obituary. Paul Lambert made an ambitious triple switch in the 57th minute, though, and Villa looked to get a bit of life.
- And then this happened:
- I took a look at how the KEA goal came to be here. The long and short of it: wing play opens things up, and that left KEA as free as was possible.
- Suddenly, West Brom were back on their heels and Villa looked as if they not only might find an equalizer, but also the winner. The former came just nine minutes later, when Ashley Westwood got his first Premier League goal:
- Sadly, Villa couldn't keep it up. Fabian Delph, Gabby Agbonlahor, and Andi Weimann--the catalysts behind Villa's revival--tired quickly and Villa had to settle for the point.
- You can find our recap here. If you'd rather watch a recap, we've got all of the goals in gif form here.
- The WhoScored recap is here.
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland (EPL)
- Think of the most boring 90 minutes you've ever spent. Let me guess, it's watching the Hull City-Aston Villa match from earlier this season, isn't it? Well, this was equal to whatever boring 90-minute stretch you've ever had.
- The worst part of it all is the fact that Sunderland looked like the better team for most of the match. I'm not sure what it is about Villa Park, but Aston Villa are playing there like your standard team plays on the road. There was no creativity, there was no real aggressiveness. There was nothing.
- Well, that's not exactly true. For the first 10 or so minutes, Villa actually did look like the better team. They were pressing, and while the chances they made weren't all that good, it seemed as if a goal was inevitable.
- But then they just decided to sit back and let the match happen. There have probably been worse showings from the club this season, but I honestly can't think of one I regret watching more.
- You can find our recap here.
- The WhoScored recap is here.
- Aston Villa have yet another two-match week ahead of them. Again, they get to face another team from mid-table, and one from the relegation zone.
- Really, though, that's not being fair to Southampton, who are closer to the top three than they are 10th. And that's surprising, given that they're 7th right now, with 22 points. They're tied with Arsenal for fewest goals allowed in the Premier League, and would be 1st were it not for a freak goal by Stoke's goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in the 11th second of their meeting.
- But that vaunted Southampton defense has been slipping lately. They've allowed six goals in their last three matches, including three to Chelsea this weekend. Think about that for a second: six goals in three matches, after only allowing four in their first ten. That's just crazy.
- So it's not quite as dire as it seems. I don't think anyone really believes that Southampton should be as close to second as they are to tenth. They're a good squad, but they're not as good as they've seemed thus far.
- That said, if any team can help a club gain their defensive composure, it's Aston Villa. Southampton haven't been exactly prolific when it comes to scoring either, and Villa's defense has been pretty stout. I'd put money on the 0-0 draw here, so expect 9 goals to be scored.
- Fulham are a different story, as they're just a tremendous wreck. Coming off of six straight losses, they finally fired Martin Jol yesterday. The last straw was a 3-0 loss at West Ham for the Cottagers. What's interesting about the run is the fact that it came after a 3-1-3 start for Fulham. 10 points from 7 matches isn't the worst beginning in the world.
- So Fulham will be in turmoil still by Sunday, and it's a match that Villa should win. Oddly, I feel more confident about this than I did about the Sunderland match, since it's on the road. I'll never get over the fact that being the visiting team makes me like Villa's chances more.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Check in every weekday for the latest edition of Kickin' It. Be sure to join us in the comments, where anything goes!