Aston Villa v Cardiff City Match preview
From Villa Park, Saturday 3:00pm.
Cardiff play a league game at Villa Park for the first time since 1975 when the teams meet in the West Midlands on Saturday, There was a League Cup games a few seasons ago that Villa won 1 - 0 in 2009 but it's been a long time since the Bluebirds have competed at the same level as one of the most famous clubs in football.
Villa go into the game without a win in four and without a goal in those four games either. Cardiff are above their opponents after the 1 - 0 South Wales derby victory over Swansea last weekend.
**Interesting fact: Both clubs have beaten Man City 3 - 2 this season.**
Early team news:
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is again bereft of several players through injury ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at home to Cardiff.
Andreas Weimann and Antonio Luna (both hamstring), Gabriel Agbonlahor (ankle) and Joe Bennett (back) are sidelined, along with long-term casualties Jores Okore (knee), Gary Gardner (back) and Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles).
The only bright spot for Lambert is Fabian Delph could return after missing last weekend's goalless draw at West Ham through illness.
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay must decide whether to tinker with his derby-winning line-up.
Mackay may decide to rest Craig Bellamy after the striker's exertions in the victory over Swansea, and could also be tempted to restore Aron Gunnarsson to his side.
Striker Andreas Cornelius remains the lone absentee due to an ankle injury.
"We go into the game knowing we can create chances. We just need to take them.
"We will go out and give it a go. We try to create and we will never change that.
"We will try and go and score.
"We need to win but I can't fault the lads for their effort and the chances they have created.
Malky Mackay“We’ve got a tough game ahead of us. I know Paul Lambert really well, and to face one of his teams at home will be an extremely tough task. His teams play with a lot of energy and intensity and they’re at home which brings it’s own challenges. “He’s a good guy, we played at Celtic together and have stayed in touch, but it’s another league game for us and another opportunity to pick up points. “As I’ve said before every game away from home is tough in this division. I know Paul’s teams, I know how they play and I think they’ve been unlucky not to have picked up more points from some of their recent games. “I’m really looking forward to it. Villa Park is one of the best grounds in the country, there’s so much history behind it and their fans have a history of backing their side to the hilt.”
Referee: Martin Atkinson. Assistants: P Kirkup, R West. Fourth Official: D Whitestone.
Head-to-headThis is the first Premier League meeting between the two clubs, and the first in the top flight since a 2-2 draw at Villa Park in May 1962. Villa were victorious the last time the teams met - knocking the Bluebirds out of the League Cup with a 1-0 home win in September 2009. The last league meeting was in April 1975; Villa were 2-0 winners at Villa Park and went on to earn promotion to the old First Division, while Cardiff were relegated. Cardiff have not won at Villa in the last 11 meetings since a 2-0 top-flight victory in December 1954 (D2, L9).
Aston VillaVilla have conceded the opening goal in seven of their Premier League fixtures this season, the joint highest figure in the division. They have only won 10 of their last 43 league fixtures at Villa Park (42pts) and not kept a clean sheet in the last 16. Lambert has won more away league games (seven) as manager of Aston Villa than he has at Villa Park (six). It is six hours and 15 minutes without a goal for Villa since Andreas Weimann's winner against City on 28 September. Villa are also without a win in four games.
Cardiff CityCardiff are the only side in the Premier League yet to lead a game at half-time this season. They have earned back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since April. Sunday's derby hero Steven Caulker has now scored as many goals in 10 Premier League outings for Cardiff (two) as he did in 44 for Spurs and Swansea. Influential playmaker Peter Whittingham began his career at Aston Villa, making 67 league and cup appearances.
Aston Villa (from): Guzan, Steer, Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Delph, Westwood, Herd, Sylla, Tonev, Kozak, Helenius, Benteke, Bowery, Johnson.
Cardiff (from): Marshall, Connolly, Taylor, Caulker, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Cowie, Medel, Campbell, Brayford, Kim, Smith, Gestede, Noone, Gunnarsson, Mutch, Odemwingie, Mason, Maynard, Lewis, Moore, Bellamy, Theophile-Catherine.
Source: Cardiff City Online
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