Aston Villa vs Burnley – Pre-game Assessment

Saturday, Dec 30th, 15.00 – Villa Park

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Our Villans will surely welcome their return home with the prospect of starting a new winning streak against a team we have already beaten at their ground, Burnley F.C. 3-1, in August.  In fact, this will be the inaugural game of the second half of the season and a time to reflect on how we are doing.

We have twelve wins so far, out of 19 games, the same number as Liverpool who sit in first place in the Premier League, two points ahead of us, and as Arsenal, one point ahead of us.  What is most significant is that we have no upcoming fixture to be afraid of.  The current in-form team is Liverpool, but we get to play them in the second last game of the season, and at home, when chances are, we will have a lot to play for.

As for concern about playing in London, we have won all our London games this season (Chelsea, Spurs, and Brentford) and we have beaten all the London teams we have to play in the second half (Fulham, Luton, West Ham, Arsenal, Brighton, and Crystal Palace) at home.  So, no London team can get the double over us!

Regarding our loss at Old Trafford, time to ruminate suggests that we could so easily have won if just one of our excellent second half chances had gone in the net and not been blocked (by, in order, Varane, Onana, and Evans).

Even so, with key starters (Torres, Kamara, and Tielemans) missing, we still came very close to overcoming the spell that the Red Devils have over us.

With Torres providing the composure that we missed and Cash as an option to allow Konsa to sub for the “hexed” Diego Carlos, we should win comfortably against an outclassed team.  We certainly have very reason for motivation with the Champions League within our grasp.

Result Prediction:

Prediction:  Aston Villa 3, Burnley 0

With respect to the line-up, I anticipate that Emery will select Cash over Carlos, with the option of bringing on Bailey in the second half as required.

Predicted Villa Line-Up:

Aston Villa: (4, 3, 3) Martínez, Cash, Konsa, Torres, Moreno, McGinn, Luiz, Dendoncker, Diaby, Ramsey, Watkins.

Subs: Marschall, Lenglet, Bailey, Carlos, Zaniolo, Chambers, Durán, Iroegbunam

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