Aston Villa will be hoping to put their poor Premier League form to one side as they take on Championship table toppers Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round.
Only a late goal from Christian Benteke saw Paul Lambert’s side past Blackpool at the last stage of the competition, and they continue to struggle desperately in front of goal. The club have now failed to hit the net in over eight hours of Premier League football.
There was a noticeable improvement when Carles Gil made his debut as a substitute last time out against Liverpool, but as a result of that run, they now lie just three points clear of the relegation zone and a growing number of supporters are turning against Lambert and the owners. A low turnout is expected here.
For all of Villa’s problems in front of goal, Bournemouth cannot stop scoring, with their total of 57 currently the highest in all four divisions. That is largely down to the free-flowing approach from manager Eddie Howe, who continues to take the Cherries to even greater heights.
Striker Callum Wilson is a natural goalscorer and has been in impressive form since joining last summer from Coventry City, while experience in attack is provided by Yann Kermorgant and Brett Pitman. They have been superb, but Bournemouth have lost two of their last three league games.
Ciaran Clark is back for Aston Villa after serving a one-match ban, but Libor Kozak, Philippe Senderos and Ron Vlaar are out. The away side have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
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