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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham visit Aston Villa ~ Prem MD 32 ~ 22/23

last updated Tuesday 25th April 2023, 8:11 AM

Match Preview

Aston Villa vrs Fulham

Premiership Match Day 32 2223 at Villa Park

Tuesday 25th April 2023    KO: 19:45

Referee: Thomas Bramall (Sheffield)

Live on BT Sport 2

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
His Wiki page
Aston Villa coach Unai Emery
Aston Villa Coach
Unai Emery
His Wiki page
Two sides still very much in the European mix do battle in Tuesday's Premier League fixture at Villa Park, as Aston Villa welcome Fulham to the West Midlands.

Unai Emery's men left it late to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw with Brentford on Saturday, while the Cottagers remain on the coat-tails of the top seven thanks to a 2-1 win over Leeds United.

Scoring in back-to-back Premier League games for just the second time in his career, Fulham's Harry Wilson once again stepped into the Aleksandar Mitrovic-sized void to propel the Cottagers to a nervy win over relegation-threatened Leeds at the weekend.

Wilson broke the deadlock with a powerful strike off the woodwork with 58 minutes gone before Andreas Pereira lashed home perhaps the easiest goal he will score in his career, but Marco Silva's side subjected their fans to a nail-biting final 10 minutes following Joao Palhinha's late own goal.

Nevertheless, the Cottagers held on for a second successive Premier League win - a marked upturn in fortunes from their five-game losing streak earlier in the spring - and Brentford's failure to beat Villa lifted Silva's men to ninth in the standings, five points adrift of seventh-placed Liverpool.

The positives have outweighed the negatives for Fulham in the past couple of weeks, but a seven-game run without a clean sheet is not a positive statistic before tackling Emery's goal-happy crop, and only two of the visitors' last six away matches have ended in victory.

However, Fulham's 3-0 thumping of Aston Villa at Craven Cottage earlier in the season makes for positive reading, but the Lions recorded a convincing 3-1 win at Villa Park 24 months ago, and not since the days of Charles N'Zogbia have the two sides played out a draw, with the Frenchman on target in a 1-1 stalemate in April 2013.

A welcome return to Villa Park now awaits the Lions, who have won each of their last four home games against Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United without conceding a goal, but a reinvigorated Fulham attack will put that defensive mettle to the test.

Despite continuing their incredible run of scoring in every game under ex-Arsenal and Villarreal boss Emery, Villa were not at the races for large portions of their contest with Brentford, whose talisman Ivan Toney struck his 19th goal of the campaign to put the Bees ahead at the Gtech Community Stadium.

The hitherto red-hot Ollie Watkins endured a fruitless afternoon at his old stomping ground, but with 87 minutes on the clock, a well-taken strike from Douglas Luiz denied Brentford all three points in front of their own fans and extended Villa's unbeaten run to nine top-flight games.

Having failed in their bid to make it six Premier League wins in a row, Villa - who remain sixth in the rankings - missed a glorious opportunity to pile the pressure on their fellow Champions League chasers, and the gap to the top four stands at eight points after Newcastle United's 6-1 humiliation of Tottenham Hotspur.

Cutting an optimistic figure after the game, Emery insisted that he was "so happy" to come away with a point from a taxing encounter in the capital, and there was every reason for the Spaniard to be pleased about his side scoring for the 21st match running under his wing.

Head to Head

  • Fulham won this season's reverse fixture 3-0, with Steven Gerrard subsequently sacked as Aston Villa head coach on the same night.

  • Aston Villa's solitary defeat in their past 18 league games at home to Fulham came on 5 April 2014 (W10, D7).

  • The Cottagers can beat Villa home and away in a top-flight season for only the third time, having done so in 1962-63 and 2013-14.
  • Fulham are vying for an outright club record seventh top-flight away victory in a season. Their current tally of six was also achieved in 1960-61 and 1962-63.

  • They need one win to equal the club record of 14 in a Premier League season, set four times.

  • The Cottagers have earned successive league victories, directly following a five-match losing streak in all competitions.

  • Fulham are one of only two sides with a 100% winning record in midweek Premier League fixtures this season. They have four victories, one fewer than Manchester City.

  • Harry Wilson has scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since his first two appearances in the division in August 2019.
Aston Villa
  • Aston Villa are unbeaten in nine league games, taking 23 points out of a possible 27 and keeping six clean sheets.

  • It's the club's longest Premier League sequence without defeat since a run of 10 from May to October 2011.

  • They could win five consecutive top-flight matches at Villa Park for the first time since May to September 1998, while they last did so without conceding between March-April 1983.

  • The Villans have scored in all 19 Premier League fixtures under Unai Emery, the longest streak from the start of a manager's tenure in the competition's history.

  • Ollie Watkins has scored 11 times in 13 league appearances and needs one goal to become the first Villa player to reach 15 in a top-flight season since Christian Benteke a decade ago.


Source Ben Knapton at SportsMole
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