19th placed Cardiff haven’t looked much better since sacking Malky Mackay but there is this hope around the Cardiff City Stadium that their fortunes are about to turn and turn soon. 12th placed Villa will look to put the disappointing performance behind and stay clear of the bottom 3 as far as possible.
Cardiff City face Villa with the uncertainty of captain Craig Bellamy in the fixture. Should Bellamy not contest the 3 match ban for his alleged punch in the Welsh derby, the game against Villa will be the first of the 3. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have Craig Noone and Kevin Theophile-Catherine as the pair return from their injury lay-offs.
Probable Starting 11 – Marshall ; Fabio – Caulker – Cala – John ; Noone – Mutch – Medel – Zaha ; Campbell – Jones.
The Villans travel to Wales with the absence of veteran centre-half Ron Vlaar and on-loan Chelsea full-back, Ryan Bertrand. Trying to distance themselves from the relegation battle, Villa need to put away games such as these comfortably. Having a fit and firing front-3 of Agbonlahor – Benteke – Weimann will only help their cause.
Probable Starting 11 – Guzan ; Lowton – Clark – Baker – Bennet ; Bacuna – Westwood – Delph ; Agbonlahor – Benteke – Weimann.
Big match stats:
- Cardiff are yet to win back to back Barclays Premier League home games since their promotion.
- Aston Villa have won seven of their last eight matches in all competitions against Cardiff City (W7 L1).
- In Aston Villa’s last 11 Premier League away games they have either conceded exactly two goals (seven times) or kept a clean sheet (four times).
- Nine different players have scored for Cardiff at the Cardiff City Stadium this season, but only one of these has netted more than once there (Fraizer Campbell – 4).
- Cardiff have lost five of their last six Premier League games, four of which have come under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (W1).
- Aston Villa have lost seven of their last 11 Premier League games, winning just twice in this run (W2 D2 L7).
- Cardiff City have conceded a Premier League-high nine headed goals in 2013-14 so far.
- Cardiff have conceded the most goals in the final 15 minutes of PL games this season, both in total (18) and proportion (41%).
- 47% of Cardiff’s goals this season (nine of 19) have come from crosses – a league-high proportion.
- Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored against 32 of the 33 different clubs that he has scored against in the Premier League (only failing to score v C.Palace). He is yet to face Cardiff City
Please Note: The Stats are provided by Opta Stats and www.dailymail.co.uk
EPL Preview: Cardiff City vs Aston Villa
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