clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Match Preview: Aston Villa Vs Sunderland

A preview of our Premier League match with Aston Villa

The reassurance gained from last weekend's competent defensive display against Swansea City may have waned somewhat for the Sunderland faithful after a virtually unchanged defence leaked three goals on Tuesday evening against league 2 side Exeter City in the Capital One Cup.

Further adding to Sunderland's woes, deadline is imminent in the transfer window and the Black Cats are still short of quality in vital areas with fans praying we're active in the final days in the hope Lee Congerton can bolster a weak squad.

Transfer window and defence aside, there are positives to be taken from Sunderland at the moment, new signings Yann M'Vila and Jermain Lens appear to be settling very quickly with the former slotting into midfield effortlessly, clocking an impressive 88% pass accuracy in the 180 minutes he's played so far, where as Lens was a stand out performer against Swansea, he's created 2 goals in his first 3 games.

While creativity is on the up compared to last season, it's incredibly easy to argue the chances still aren't flowing enough. It's times like this you can really appreciate a natural finisher on form. Jermaine Defoe has started the season in deadly form scoring 2 league goals and bagging a hat trick midweek in the League Cup. Attacking strength from the bench is now also apparent with the young, direct, hungry and energetic Duncan Watmore stamping his mark on the senior squad after scoring his second senior goal midweek.

Match Appointments
Referee: Robert Madley
Assistants: E Smart & R West
Fourth Official: S Martin

Aston Villa Team News
A sickness bug has swept through the Aston Villa squad this week, though manager Tim Sherwood is confident those effected will be fit for selection. Adama Traore could still feature despite not training this week.

Sunderland Team News
Adam Mathews joins Adam Johnson in the injury room after been ruled out for 6 weeks. Jeremain Lens and Billy Jones could return after missing the midweek cup tie. New signing Ola Toivonen joined in time to feature but due to match fitness he may have to settle for a place on the bench where he could be joined by Jordi Gomez who completed 90 for the development team.
Last 10 League meetings
14 Mar 2015:
Sunderland 0-4 Aston Villa
28 Dec 2014:
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland
01 Jan 2014:
Sunderland 0-1 Aston Villa
30 Nov 2013:
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland
29 Apr 2013:
Aston Villa 6-1 Sunderland
03 Nov 2012:
Sunderland 0-1 Aston Villa
21 Apr 2012:
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland
29 Oct 2011:
Sunderland 2-2 Aston Villa
05 Jan 2011:
Aston Villa 0-1 Sunderland
23 Oct 2010:
Sunderland 1-0 Aston Villa

Form
Aston Villa
Sat 22 Aug 2015:
Crystal Palace 2 - 1 Aston Villa
Fri 14 Aug 2015:
Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd
Sat 8 Aug 2015:
Bournemouth 0 - 1 Aston Villa

Sunderland
Sat 22 Aug 2015:
Sunderland 1 - 1 Swansea
Sat 15 Aug 2015:
Sunderland 1 - 3 Norwich
Sat 8 Aug 2015:
Leicester 4 - 2 Sunderland

Spotlight
JERMAINE DEFOE
Jermaine Defoe has begun the season in fine form netting 5 goals in 4 games in all competitions. He's yet to have a shot off target, scoring with 55% of his chances so far this season. It's reassuring to have such natural finisher bang on form.

Last Corresponding Fixture
A Villain on Villa
This week we welcome Aston Villa fan Alfie Finch-Critchley from the Heroes and Villains message board who's kindly prepared us an insight into our opponents. Many thanks Alfie.

"I suppose supporting Sunderland nowadays is rather like following the Villa. We’ve both spent the past few years flirting with relegation, while our respective glory days came a long time ago. We both have relatively large grounds, yet they only really come close to full capacity when Manchester United or our local rivals come to town. When I think about it for too long, it does actually get quite depressing. Until, of course, I remember how many quality players we’ve bought this summer. And who our manager is, and where West Brom are sitting in the table, the list goes on.

Rewind twelve months, and most Villa fans were predicting another season of doom, gloom and misery. Paul Lambert (remember him?) was in charge, our most expensive summer signing had cost less than six million pounds and our superstar striker was permanently injured. In the end, despite a strong late - season run, we finished one place above the relegation zone. Major work was needed during the summer, and this is just what we got.

Micah Richards, Jordan Amavi, Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Ayew, Adama Traore and Rudy Gestede have all joined the club. Key young players have been tied down on new contracts. Benteke and Delph may have left, but such has been the extravagant manner in which we’ve gone about our business it doesn’t look like we’ll overly miss them. In fact, you could argue that we don’t really need them.

So on to Saturday. You always provide tricky opposition at Villa Park, and it would be typical of us to lose a game that most would have us down for winning. I don’t predict a tight, uneventful game, though. In fact, I think both teams will give it a good go, with a few goals thrown in for good measure. We can but hope!

Enjoy your season (apart from when you’re playing us, obviously).

Opta Facts & Stats

Head-to-head
  • Aston Villa are on an eight-match unbeaten streak in this fixture (W4, D4).
  • Sunderland's last win in this fixture came at Villa Park in January 2011, when Phil Bardsley scored the only goal.
  • The Black Cats have scored just one goal in their last seven Premier League games against Villa, failing to find the net in the four most recent encounters.
Aston Villa
  • Villa registered just five Premier League wins at home last season - only Sunderland and relegated Burnley fared worse.
  • They have only won 17 of their 71 league games at Villa Park since December 2011, losing 35 times and averaging less than one point per match during that period (W17, D19, L35, Pts 70).
  • Tim Sherwood's side could fail to score in their first two home matches of a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1946.
  • Gabby Agbonlahor has scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances against Sunderland.
Sunderland
  • The Black Cats have gone six league matches without a win (D3, L3). They had won three of their first six games under Dick Advocaat.
  • They have failed to win any of their opening four matches in each of the last four Premier League seasons.
  • Sunderland's only win in their last 12 Premier League away matches came against Everton in May (W1, D5, L6).
  • All four of Sunderland's league goals this season have come after half time.