Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan, Bacuna, Baker, Vlaar, Bertrand, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor
Aston Villa made a huge step out of the relegation battle with their 1-0 victory over league leaders Chelsea last weekend and a win over Stoke will surely keep Villa in the division. Ryan Bertrand returns to the lineup after being unable to face parent club Chelsea, but Paul Lambert will be sweating over the fitness of Gabriel Agbonlahor who picked up a knock in the victory.
Stoke City (4-2-3-1): Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, N’Zonzi, Whelan, Odemwingie, Arnautovic, Etherington, Crouch
Mark Hughes’ side are on a good run of form at the moment, only losing one out of their last seven games – a 1-0 loss to Manchester City. They do however have a dismal away record, only winning 1 game on the road all season. Jonathan Walters and Charlie Adam are still serving their respective suspensions, which allows game time for Marko Arnautovic to play ‘in the hole’. The Serb proved himself last time out, scoring the game’s third goal to put Stoke within touching distance of safety. Stephen Ireland is ineligible for the match against parent club Aston Villa.
Sorry, but did i just see that Super Sunday is Aston villa vs Stoke? What on earth could be super about that
— Anthony Wright (@Anthwrizzle) March 19, 2014
I can’t wait to watch Aston Villa V Stoke on ‘Super Sunday’ said nobody ever
— Christopher Reid (@CReid1989) March 19, 2014
Mark Clattenburg has been appointed referee for the Aston Villa v. Stoke match on Sunday.
— Eric Lovett (@ericavfc) March 19, 2014
A fan captures one of the goals of last season when Aston Villa’s Matthew Lowton smashes a volley home from outside the box against Stoke.
Christian Benteke scored two goals in their 4-1 win over Norwich two gameweeks ago and put in a strong performance in their win against Chelsea last weekend. Currently on nine goals in the league, it will be of no surprise if the powerful Belgian gets to double digits in this fixture.
Aston Villa vs. Stoke: An Alternative Preview
Aston Villa have won only one of their last eight Barclays Premier League games against Stoke City, but five of the games have been draws in that run.
Stoke have scored fewer headed goals than any other team in the top flight (2).
Four of the five Premier League games between these two sides at Villa Park have ended as draws with one 1-0 win for the home side.
Aston Villa have conceded the most in total (8) and the highest proportion (21%) of goals in the opening 15 minutes of PL matches this season.
Stoke have lost just one of their last seven Premier League matches (W3 D3 L1) and that was away at Manchester City.
Aston Villa have not won three Premier League home games in a row since October 2007 (four wins).
Stoke have won none of their last 13 Premier League away games (W0 D4 L9) and have failed to score in six of their last nine on the road.
Stoke have won 61% of their aerial duels this season, a higher proportion than any other team in the top division.
Only Stoke City (398) have committed more fouls than Aston Villa (379) in the Premier League this season.
Stoke have already completed more passes this season (8674) than in any of their previous five Premier League campaigns, with eight games still remaining.