Aston Villa v Stoke City: Stoke and Villa fight for a spot in the top half of the table
Aston Villa host Stoke City at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon with both teams just two wins of the magical 40 point mark.
Aston Villa knocked Stoke out of the top ten last week with their 1-0 shock win over league leaders Chelsea. Both teams are locked together on 34 points in tenth and eleventh in the league but you have to feel Villa are the favourites judging by Stoke's away form.
The Potters have won just one away game this term and picked up just seven points on the road for the entire season. Although Stoke will be boosted by the fact that Villa have only picked up 17 points at home this season after a shaky start.
Villa have a game in hand over Stoke and should be looking up the table rather than down, the same can be said for Stoke who have taken seven points from their last three games which have seen them climb away from danger.
Erik Pieters limped off during Stoke's 3-1 win over West Ham last weekend and could face a last fitness test and be replaced by Marc Muniesa or Andy Wilkinson with Robert Huth ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Paul Lambert has no fresh injury concerns and could start with the same 11 that took three points from Chelsea at Villa Park last weekend.
Libor Kozak and Charles N'Zogbia have been ruled out for the rest of the season, whilst Jores Okore faces a fight against time to be back to full fitness before May 11th.
Aston Villa have won only one of their last eight Premier League games against Stoke City, but five of the games have been draws in that run.
Four of the five Premier League games between these two sides at Villa Park have ended as draws with one 1-0 win for the home side.
Aston Villa have not won three Premier League home games in a row since October 2007.
Stoke have lost just one of their last seven Premier League matches and that was away at Manchester City.
Stoke will miss Charlie Adam away from home, the Scotland International has a big presence on the pitch and Stoke will miss this even more away from home. Aston Villa should be aiming to beat teams like Stoke at home if they hope to make it to the 40 point mark, but I feel the two teams will cancel each other out.
Aston Villa 2-2 Stoke City
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