Preview: Aston Villa v Birmingham

22 April 2010 01:48
With just three games remaining in the season, Martin O'Neill knows that only three wins are likely to be enough for his Aston Villa side to pip Tottenham and Manchester City to the fourth Champions League spot. The problem for the Northern Irishman is that whilst Villa have been strong on the road of late - four wins in five games - at home they have struggled to claim maximum points, drawing six of their last seven Premier League games at Villa Park. The manager himself told press: "We're in the mix. We're going for everything and guaranteed nothing. We're not even guaranteed to finish eighth in the league at this minute. "We've gone above Liverpool with three games to go and that's pretty exceptional. But where I've been pleased with the team is they've responded fantastically to the defeat at Stamford Bridge." Though City have little left to play for this season, their players will be fired up to end a run of five consecutive defeats in this Birmingham derby and simultaneously end their rivals' Champions League ambitions. However, a run of six defeats in their last seven away matches means the travelling fans will by no means be certain of a full haul this time around. One worry for the Blues is the late danger posed by Gabby Agbonlahor. The England hopeful not only scored at Hull in midweek, but has scored in all three starts against Birmingham, each time in the final 15 minutes of the game. Both sides can also boast sides relatively unscathed by injuries, with Curtis Davies (ankle) the only absentee for Villa, while Birmingham will once more be without long-term injury David Murphy (knee) and Garry O'Connor (hip) is doubtful.

Source: ESA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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