A rejuvenated Aston Villa will be looking for their fourth consecutive win in all competitions when they host a Swansea City side that has only lost to them once in seven Premier League meetings.
If the two victories in league and cup against local rivals West Bromwich Albion came despite performances that showed signs of nerves, that certainly cannot be said for their last outing at Sunderland, where they scored an amazing quartet of first half goals to belie their status as having the Premier League’s worst attack.
Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke looked back to their best as they bagged a brace apiece, highlighting the impact that Tim Sherwood has made since being installed as manager in February. It is form that must continue here, and given their efforts on Wearside, it is hard not to back them to taste three points again.
Swansea counted themselves unlucky against Liverpool on Monday, but paid the price for failing to make the most of their first half superiority. After the interval, they failed to muster a response to a tactical change from the Reds and totally lost their attacking threat, although the goal that decided the game was highly unlucky from their perspective.
It was a setback, but they will be encouraged by another competitive display against one of the leading clubs, and they defended strongly once again. Here the Swans face one of their former stars in Scott Sinclair, while it will be intriguing to see who comes out on top between Benteke and Ashley Williams.
Aston Villa are likely to again be without Aly Cissokho, but Alan Hutton does return from a two-match ban. Captain Ron Vlaar could make his return from a calf injury.
Nathan Dyer and Jefferson Montero will be pushing for starts for the away side, who are still unable to call upon Kyle Bartley.
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