If there was an award at the end of the season for the most inconsistent team then Aston Villa would almost certainly win it every year. Following on from the impressive local derby win against West Bromwich Albion, it appears that after taking that one step forward, Paul Lambert’s men have taken another step backwards after back to back defeats against Everton and West Ham respectively.
The tenth home defeat of the season was once again greeted with boos at the full time whistle and left Paul Lambert scratching his head as to why his side fail to step up the plate whenever they take to the Villa Park turf. In truth, West Ham looked comfortable for the majority of the game and aside from Marc Albrighton and Christian Benteke rattling the woodwork then it never looked likely that the side from B6 would find the back of the net.
Having been dragged back in to a relegation battle for the fourth season in a row, no Villa fan could put his hand on his heart and say where we will finish this season. It appears that there are at least three teams in the Premier League who will end up worse off than ourselves but it may be close.
As the Villans travel to Wales for their first trip to the Cardiff City Stadium, Paul Lambert will be hoping that his troops can carry on their impressive away form this season and record another pivotal away win to help steer his side to Premier League safety. One positive stat that is going for Villa this season is that Lambert’s men have emerged victorious from both of the previous mid-week games played this season.
Lowton Clark Vlaar Bertrand
El Ahmadi Westwood Delph Albrighton
Paul Lambert will hope to have Ron Vlaar back from injury in time for the trip to the Welsh capital on Tuesday evening. It is possible that he will take the place of Nathan Baker if he is fit, due to the fact that Ciaran Clark is the preferred centre half partner for Vlaar whenever the Dutchman features.
Marc Albrighton was Villa’s man of the match against West Ham at the weekend and he is pushing for a starting spot as he looks to earn a new contract before the end of the season.
Ryan Bertrand is expected to overcome the rib injury that saw him taken off at the weekend.
Cardiff have no real injury concerns ahead of the match on Tuesday evening and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will be looking to start picking up some points as his side appears to be sliding closer to the trap door at the foot of the table. The Norwegian has only won one of the five league games he has managed so far.
Cardiff’s players currently find themselves nineteenth in the Premier League, three points adrift of safety. Following Fulham’s dramatic last gasp point against Manchester United on Sunday, the pressure will be on the Welsh side to start turning performances into points.
Referee: Chris Foy
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Tickets: £35 [adults], £20 [over-60s], £20 [16-20], £20 [U16s]
Last meeting: Aston Villa 2-0 Cardiff City
Cardiff City 1-1 Aston Villa – @MrOMeara