Venue: Villa Park
Date: Saturday 26th November 2016
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Aston Villa: W W D W D
Cardiff City: D W L L W
Last time the two teams met: 11th February 2014 – Cardiff City 0 – 0 Aston Villa
It was a dull scoreless draw on a freezing cold evening in south Wales the last time these two met. Andreas Weimann went closest for Villa in the final minutes but the Villans couldn’t steal all three points.
Steve Bruce’s side will put their unbeaten home record on the line as they welcome Cardiff City to Villa Park on Saturday.
After last Friday’s 1-1 draw against high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion, the Villans go into the game full of confidence having played well at the Amex and coming very close to grabbing all three points in the latter stages.
Having also remained unbeaten in the manager’s first six games and winning their last two at home, the supporters will be expecting a victory as they take on one of the sides expected to be fighting to stay in the division.
The Bluebirds’ form has turned around since the arrival of Neil Warnock in early October, with the club winning three of his six games in charge, including a thrilling 3-2 victory over Huddersfield Town last time out. That result means the Welsh side will also come into the game expecting that they can put an end to the Villans’ unbeaten record.
Bruce will be looking for Jonathan Kodjia to continue his fine goal-scoring run, having found the net in five of the last six games and having scored three goals in his last two appearances at B6. The striker’s clinical nature has seen him become a Holte End hero since his £15 million move in the summer.
Ross McCormack is back in contention after missing the trip to Brighton last weekend through suspension.
Gabby Agbonlahor was preferred to Jordan Ayew and Jack Grealish last Friday. Given that Ayew and Grealish both came on and changed that game, they will be hoping to start.
Leandro Bacuna returned to the bench after spending several weeks on the sidelines and he will also be pushing for a start at Villa Park.
The visitors’ only injury doubt surrounds defender Jazz Richards. The Welsh defender is struggling with a a foot injury and has just returned to light training.
Otherwise, Neil Warnock has a full squad to choose from, although Manga is not expected to play a part as the club look to offload the defender in the January transfer window.
One to watch:
Peter Whittingham (pictured) needs no introduction to Villa fans after his spell at the club after graduating from the club’s academy.
Whittingham played sixty-six times in claret and blue, scoring just twice. He made the move to Cardiff City in January 2007 after struggling to find a way into a strong Villa midfield.
The midfielder has developed into one of the most consistent players in the division, playing over four hundred times for the visitors and finding the net ninety-four times.
Possessing one of the most impressive deliveries in the country, the Villa boys will need to make sure they do not concede many set pieces in dangerous areas, especially within striking distance.