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Aston Villa vs Fulham: Predictions
Aston Villa have fallen behind in the pursuit of European football this season, but Dean Smith will be determined to get his side back on a war footing and make a late surge for the top six, adding a huge emphasis on this contest and ensuring further points don’t fall by the wayside.
As it stands, the Villans are ensconced firmly in mid table, with Arsenal leapfrogging them in recent weeks, while they are winless in their last four games, with that serious dip in form coinciding with the recent loss of skipper and talisman Jack Grealish, but the convalescing star has recently returned to training.
“He trained all week,” were the words of Smith in his pre-match presser, and Scott Parker would have been dreading that soundbite, as he must now prepare his charges to offer their own threat going forward, while also keeping a lid on the creative Brummie, a task many have struggled with this term.
The Cottagers recently executed a world-class smash-and-grab at Anfield, seeing off reigning champions Liverpool to lift the mood in west London, but subsequent defeats have just amplified the pressure once again, and Parker must now look to clinch a result here, particularly with Newcastle facing a tough tie against Spurs.
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Aston Villa vs Fulham: Match Stats
Back-to-back defeats at Craven Cottage have illuminated the worries in the capital for Fulham, but away from home they remain a force to be reckoned with and are, in fact, unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games on the road, the longest such run in their top-flight history. What’s more, Parker’s men have kept four clean sheets across their last six contests away from home, which will come as a huge crumb of comfort to Parker.
Of course, the return of Grealish increases the scale of the task to the nth degree for the travelling side, so a fifth shutout in seven may prove a stretch too far for Fulham, but having kept Liverpool at bay and Everton in recent outings, they will know they can avoid another 3-0 drubbing like the reverse fixture.
28 Sep 2020 – Fulham 0-3 Aston Villa – Premier League
04 Jan 2020 – Fulham 2-1 Aston Villa – FA Cup
26 May 2018 – Aston Villa 0-1 Fulham – Championship Play-Offs
17 Feb 2018 – Fulham 2-0 Aston Villa – Championship
21 Oct 2017 – Aston Villa 2-1 Fulham – Championship
Having already suffered a 3-0 curtain-raising loss to Arsenal and been on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, the 3-0 capitulation to Villa on matchday three really did spell early danger for Fulham. In a sense they are still recovering from that confidence-sapping run, but Parker will know his side are a different beast to the one that rolled over against Villa back in September, and he will feel a sense of belief that he can mastermind a win on Sunday.