Aston Villa games are a little like buses, aren’t they? You wait what feels like an eternity for a game and then two or three come in quick succession. Villa will welcome Sean Dyche and his Burnley side to Villa Park on Thursday as they look to build on their impressive win over Wolves at the weekend.
Burnley will be feeling a lot better following their away win at Arsenal on Sunday. The victory helped them climb out of the relegation zone after Dyche’s men have struggled so far this season. The thing that will give Burnley encouragement is that five of their nine points so far this season have come away from home.
Villa have got off to a fine start this season but despite this, they don’t have as many points on the board as they may feel like they should have. The next two games are fixtures we must look to take full points from, especially with the run coming our way as we approach the new year.
Our home form is a cause for concern also, three of our four defeats have come at Villa Park. I feel that teams tend to sit back and hit us on the counter-attack, something we need to be aware of.
Aston Villa will make a late decision on Ross Barkley. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder picked up an injury in the defeat against Brighton but he could be named on the substitute bench on Thursday.
Villa will be without the suspended Douglas Luiz and Matty Cash. Ahmed Elmohammady, Freddy Guilbert, Marvelous Nakamba and Conor Hourihane will all be fighting for the two places available.
Trezeguet will also miss out with a hamstring injury.
Burnley could welcome back Dale Stephens and Phil Bardsley after missing out recent games through injury. Jack Cork is also back in training but it is thought that the game against Villa will come too soon.
Jack Cork, Dale Stephens and Phil Bardsley all featured as over-age players in the U23s’ win over Reading on Monday after spells out through injury.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Richard West. Fourth official: Lee Mason. VAR: Jonathan Moss. Assistant VAR: Simon Long.
DID YOU KNOW
If Villa lose then they would have lost four consecutive Premier League home matches for the first time since April 2016.
Villa have scored 21 goals so far this season, the most they have scored after 10 top-flight games since 1976-77.
Burnley have lost just one game in their previous five matches, earning eight points.
As I have already touched upon, despite our positive start to the season, our home form is a cause from concern. Only Leeds have deserved to beat us so far this campaign so we need to keep our concentration levels at the back while also taking our chances up top.
Burnley will most likely come to Villa Park, sit deep and look to hit us on the counter-attack. We have to be wary of this.
Aston Villa 2-1 Burnley