I’m sure last year’s opening day of the Barclays Premier League season holds very fond memories for you all. The 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates was certainly one of the highlights of the 2013-14 season.
With the start of the 2014-15 season quickly approaching, I have decided to take a closer look at Villa’s opening day track record in recent times and how we have fared against Stoke City since the side’s promotion to the Premier League in 2008.
Aston Villa Football Club has been part of the Premier League since the start and Villa’s opening day record shows seven wins, seven losses and eight draws. Like the Villa we have all gotten to know very well recently, our record is typically consistently inconsistent.
Over the last five seasons, the Villans have had a mixture of highs and lows when it comes to the start of the season. The Villans have started the season at home twice and away from home three times (with this season set to be the fourth time) since 2009-10.
Since 2009, Aston Villa’s opening day results have been:
2009-10 Wigan (H) – L ) – 0-2
2010-11 West Ham United (H) – W 3-0
2011-12 Fulham (A) – D 0-0
2012-13 West Ham United (A) – L 1-0
2013-14 Arsenal (a) – W 1-3
The opening fixture of the 2014-15 campaign sees the Villans making the trip to the Brittania Stadium to face Stoke City. Since the Potters’ promotion in 2008, our team has not done particularly well when facing Stoke. The Villans have only beaten the Potters twice, losing to them four times and drawing six games.
What is probably many Villa fans’ favourite memory of playing Stoke in recent years is the 3-1 victory at the Brittania Stadium towards the end of the 2012-13 season. With Lambert’s men down towards the bottom of the table, despite what had been an impressive revival in the second half of the season, the Villans found themselves in desperate need of three points in order to help ensure Premier League survival for another season. The side put in a memorable performance and the players showed that they could come together as team when it mattered and showed some fighting spirit. Then we had Matthew Lowton’s wonder goal, giving the players and fans alike a massive boost!
However, last season’s displays against Stoke were less than impressive. We witnessed a disappointing 2-1 loss away from home. It was a game in which we didn’t even really look like scoring until a slip up in Stoke’s defence allowed Libor Kozak to put away an easy tap-in. The home fixture saw one of many 1-4 defeats at Villa Park. The Villans had a good start to the game, scoring within ten minutes, but things soon all went wrong and it was shambolic to say the least.
Hopefully, we’ll have better luck this season and get the new campaign off to a winning start!