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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | VILLA V TOWN

10 February 2017

Emyr Huws looks ahead to the trip to Villa Park

Town new boy Emyr Huws believes the squad can use confidence gained from the performance against Reading last weekend to get a result at Villa Park on Saturday.

The Blues travel to Birmingham to take on Steve Bruce's Aston Villa looking for a first win in five league matches, although Emyr is surprised to see the Villans languishing in mid-table.

"We are all quietly confident we can go to Villa Park and get a result, especially on the back of last weekend's performance against Reading," the on-loan Cardiff midfielder told the Club website.

"It's one we are all looking forward to, and we've trained well in the build up to this game."Villa are a big club and it's a surprise to see them in this League. In my lifetime as a football fan, they've always been a Premier League club so this is a new experience for them, and perhaps they are still adjusting, I'm not sure.

"I thought they would be a little higher up in the table but this is a tough league. But let's have it right, they have a fantastic squad with some good players, so it won't be an easy game.

"So it will be a tough game but one we are all looking forward to and hopefully we can get a result for our travelling fans."

 


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Team News

Town

A number of players have been nursing minor niggles at Playford Road this week, although they should all be fit to play at Villa Park on Saturday. Luke Chambers, Tom Lawrence and Christophe Berra all missed training earlier in the week, but were part of the sessions on Friday. Cole Skuse is a doubt with the achilles injury that forced him to be withdrawn in last Saturday's 2-2 draw with Reading, although he did train towards the end of the week and should be OK to be involved providing he has had no reaction. Myles Kenlock will link-up with the first-team squad for the first time since the defeat at QPR having recovered from a calf injury but Tommy Smith is still short of match fitness despite completing 90 minutes for the U23s on Monday. Jonny Williams (shoulder), Adam Webster (ankle), Luke Hyam and Giles Coke (knee) remain out.


Aston Villa

Neil Taylor could be in line to make his Villa debut at the weekend following his January switch from Swansea having missed last weekend's defeat at Nottingham Forest due to illness. Fellow new signings, Conor Hourihane, James Bree, Birkir Bjarnason and Scott Hogan could also make their home debuts. Aussie midfielder, Mile Jedinak and striker Gabby Agbonlahor will miss out through injury.

Where They Stand

Town: 16th
Villa: 14th

Last Time They Met

It was goalless when these sides last met back in September at Portman Road, although Town could well have had all three points. Freddie Sears hit the post and also came close with two free-kicks as the Blues had a flurry of chances in the closing stages of the match. Leon Best and Cole Skuse both had efforts cleared off the line by striker, Jonathan Kodjia as Villa held on for a point.

Key Players

Emyr Huws

The Welsh midfielder made his Town debut in the 2-2 draw with Reading at Portman Road, and was the driving force behind the superb opening goal as he picked the ball up from deep, drove forward, before slipping in Tom Lawrence to fire home. He spoke in the week of his desire to be more clinical in front of goal, so could Town be the club where the Cardiff loanee starts finding the net regularly?


Scott Hogan

The big money January signing could be set to make his Villa Park debut at the weekend after making his first appearance for the club in last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. The striker scored 14 times in 25 Championship appearances during the first half of the season at Brentford, including a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Preston at Griffin Park. Steve Bruce's side haven't won since Boxing Day, and have spent a lot of money adding to the squad in order to improve their league position, so they will be looking for those additions to provide that necessary boost for the remainder of the campaign.

Sky Bet Odds

Town: 4/1
Draw: 5/2
Villa: 3/4

Match Officials

Referee: Tim Robinson
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Hunt & Mark Jones
Fourth Official: John Brooks


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