aston villa birmingham mail

The Blues could put themselves within inches of clinching the title on Wednesday — but what shape are their opponents in ahead of the game?

aston villa birmingham mail

Aston Villa’s form hasn’t been great all season but it’s taken a massive nose dive, barring the Hull game at the weekend.

They beat Chelsea and everything was upbeat, everyone thought Villa were safe and tucked away in mid-table.

Then there were five defeats and a draw, which left them in a perilous position until Saturday.

Against Hull at the weekend, when Villa won 3-1, they produced a fighting performance we haven’t seen the likes of for a while.

The interesting thing is that the shackles should be off Villa — now they are assured safety they can play freely.

Villa have one of the best records against top four sides from clubs in their position. They won at Arsenal, beat City and Chelsea and drew at Liverpool.

These are the games that have tended to bring the best out of them. It’s worth remembering that a lot of those results came before Benteke did his Achilles.

The worry for Villa is Gabriel Agbonlahor limped off against Hull and Andreas Weimann picked up a knock as well, so they maybe lack a bit of firepower.

Defensively, Ron Vlaar has been the most consistent player, they’ve been fairly solid but it’s gone wrong recently. This is a team capable of conceding goals.

If Villa are to get any joy it will be a smash and grab counter attack — take the game at Villa, they had 28 per cent possession but hit City on the break. And that should be a warПing to City.

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In terms of the wider picture at Villa, the whole place is shrouded in uncertainty, we’re waiting for Randy Lerner. There is a strong suspicion he’s going to put the club up for sale, and Lambert has a lot to do convince everyone he is the man to take the club forward.

Villa are a club in turmoil, the Hull result shouldn’t paper over the cracks over what has been an  alarming decline

Four years ago they could have finished fourth, it wasn’t that long ago that City and Villa were competing as equals under Martin O’Neill.

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