Aston Villa vs Stoke City – Villains to win it 2-1, this is a gamble to be honest if Villains don’t perform better in this match they will be looking at the Championship for the first time in their history next season.
Villa’s new manager Tim Sherwood has a tough test first up against Stoke City. Villains despite a great start to the season has stuttered and struggled for the last few months and now find themselves in the relegation zone.
Sherwood has a tough job at hand to start picking up results with a team that has struggled to find the back of the net. They’ve managed to score just 12 goals all season from 25 games averaging less than half a goal per game.
They have the same points as QPR who are 17th but have a poorer Goal Difference than the Rangers. The impact Sherwood has at West Brom will determine as to whether they will be able to upturn their season.
Sherwood was present during the team’s 2-1 FA Cup 5th round victory for Leicester City last Sunday but his first official match will be against Stoke.
Sherwood will happy with the return of Gabby Agbonlahor and Carles Gil from their respective injuries but the Villains will still miss the defensive pairing of Philippe Senderos and Nathan Baker.
Villa are on a five game losing streak in the league, they had already gone on a six game losing streak previously in the season and haven’t won in the league in 2015 and their last league win was against Leicester City in December.
Stoke come into this match on the back of an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the hands of Blackburn in the FA Cup. They had lost by a similar scoreline in their last league match versus Manchester City.
10th in the table and there season looks all but over, they won’t be dragged into the relegation battle but also won’t challenging for the European Spots.Mark Hughes men will be hoping to finish as high as they can and will aim for a win here to reverse their mini-dip in form.
Marc Muniesa has been ruled out for six weeks due to a hamstring injury and their Captain Ryan Shawcross will be missing again with a back problem. But the defensive duo of Marc Wilson and Erik Peters could return for Stoke.
Stoke have been in impressive form away from home losing just one of their last five matches. Peter Crouch has been in fine form for them scoring in three successive games.
The last time these two teams met in the Premier League during the opening day of the season Villa won the match courtesy of the lone goal from Weimann in the second half.
Where they are in the table
18th – Aston Villa – 25 games – 22 points
10th – Stoke City – 25 games – 33 points