Swansea v Aston Villa – Match Preview

Danny Graham (Swansea)Aston Villa are under a whole heap of pressure at the moment. They leak goals like a sieve and have not given the supporters a very Merry Christmas with a torrid spell of losses. But they will certainly hope that a New Year means new beginnings.

Swansea will have no remorse though and will be hoping that this game is a prime opportunity to cement their top half credentials at the Liberty Stadium.

Michael Laudrup’s men ended a four game winless run against Fulham on Saturday and will be positive that this can spark an upturn in form once more.

It is not unrealistic for the Swans to start peering up towards the European spots as they sit level on points with Liverpool in the Premier League table in ninth position.

Villa will see though that they have some reason to be cheery as they beat this weekend’s hosts in the reverse fixture at Villa Park earlier in the season. It was not all that long ago that they themselves were receiving all the plaudits after a stunning 3-1 victory at Anfield over Liverpool.

Benteke was a shining light that day but he is one of eight players in their regular starting line-up that is under 23 years of age and they will definitely be looking to add experience in the January transfer window.

Paul Lambert has accepted that he has to take responsibility for dealings on the pitch though and this starts on Saturday. They lie perilously close to the bottom three and one win would certainly turn things around and do their confidence the world of good.

Tuesday’s clash will probably come too soon for Michu which will be a huge boost for Villa. Laudrup was bold in making 7 changes on Saturday and was rewarded for his brave decision to keep the squad fresh as Danny Graham and Jonathan de Guzman both scored in a 2-1 win. This will cause a few selection headaches as Gerhard Tremmel impressed in the absence of Michel Vorm.

Aston Villa will be delighted to welcome back Fabian Delph from suspension for Tuesday’s match at the Liberty Stadium. This is about as good as the news get though as they still continue to have a lengthy injury list. Darren Bent (hamstring) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh), winger Charles N’Zogbia (knee) and defenders Ron Vlaar (calf), Nathan Baker (hamstring) and Richard Dunne (knee) all still stay on the treatment table.

Villa have failed to win any of their three top-flight away games at Swansea, so will hope for a change in fortunes here.

Prediction: Swansea 0-1 Aston Villa

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