Aston Villa kick off what promises to be a dramatic 2019-20 Premier League run-in as they welcome top four chasing Sheffield United to Villa Park, in the first match back after a three month hiatus.
Villa need a win to move out of the relegation zone at Watford’s expense whilst Utd know that victory will see them improve from seventh to fifth in the race for Europe.
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Villa have no fresh injury concerns with Jed Steer once again available for selection after recovering from a calf injury suffered against Wolves in November.
Wesley and Tom Heaton however both remain ruled out with long-term knee injuries.
Sheffield Utd have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad available for selection.
- Aston Villa are unbeaten in six of their last seven Premier League meetings against Sheffield United (W5, D1, L1).
- At home, Villa have won all three previous Premier League clashes against Utd in which they scored seven goals and conceded once.
- Utd have scored at least twice in each of their last three trips to Villa Park in all competitions.
- Villa boasts the league’s worst defence record so far this season with 56 conceded goals.
- Sheffield Utd have played 2,095 long balls this season, which is higher than any other team in the Premier League.
As the first-ever Premier League match to take place behind closed doors, it is tough to predict how this match could go and particularly after three months off which makes this feel like a new season in some aspects.
Villa however need to tighten up if they are to mount a survival bid because they’re great going forward, whereas defending leaves a lot to be desired and especially against a clinical team like Sheffield Utd who will take their chances.
It is worth noting that the atmosphere will take some adapting though so I think whoever masters the changed conditions quickest and imposes their game first will win, which will be Utd if they continue to remain unfazed like they have done all season.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Sheffield United
Result: Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United