The Villa Appetiser – “Villa are a very strange team” says Gus Poyet. Aston Villa vs Sunderland 2013 Match Preview

aston villa match preview

Aston Villa vs Sunderland 2013 Match Preview


Gus Poyet on Villa

“Villa are a very strange team to play against, they can change systems, play on the break, play direct or put three at the back.

“I’ve seen a few of their games and I’ve been surprised how quickly they’ve been able to change systems.

“That’s impressive. They can be struggling for 45 minutes, but then for the next 45, they are outstanding.

“I think it’s going to be a very interesting game because we need to win and they have been having ups and downs, even during the same game.

“They’ve had 20 minutes when they’ve played well in the last couple of games and that’s been enough.

“They have got options and we need to be ready for any situation. We need to be very good for 90 minutes.”

“It’s really important that we keep our shape and create chances. If you pay too much attention to them, you have to change yourselves as well, which is not the idea.

“There is a balance. We will have to see how high we can play up the pitch.

“They have got pace and are difficult to play against, but they’re at home and you can’t use pace if you haven’t got space.”

Larsson on THAT defeat:

“We still remember the pain as a squad, an experience like that won’t go away quickly. Neither should it. It’s in the back of our minds so we can never forget it.”

Form is Temporary

Memory match:

29 April 2013 Aston Villa 6 – 1 Sunderland

We don’t have to look far back for this one. A hat-trick from Benteke as well as goals from Vlaar, Weimann and Agbonlahor showed the world of football that Villa were staying firmly put in the Premier League.

Aston Villa: Last five League matches at home: W 2, L 3

Sunderland: Last five League matches away: L 5

In the last five Premier League meetings at Villa Park, Villa have won twice, drawn twice and lost once.

One to Watch

Wes Brown – After a sterling display against Manchester City that largely contributed to Sunderland’s home win and clean sheet, the rescinding of his red card against Stoke City, is a massive boost for the Black Cats when it comes to having any chance of keeping Christian Benteke quiet.

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

The first half against West Brom brought back memories of all the worst moments from last season. It seemed that the defence had improved but it certainly looked suspect in the opening 45 minutes on Monday. While Sunderland lost their last game to Stoke, they had an early sending off, and have generally been playing better. They defended resolutely during their win against Manchester City and it might be tough to break them down on Saturday. We have the home advantage, but we’ve only won twice in our last five games at Villa Park.

What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

Another 6-1 score line might be too much to ask, but we showed signs of improvement in terms of fashioning a result against Cardiff, so this represents a good opportunity to make it three home wins in five. Sunderland are the bottom club in the league, after all. If we see more of the Villa that played in the second-half against the Baggies, we’ll hopefully see some goals. A goal from Benteke would be nice too!

Why Villa have got this game in the bag

For starters, Poyet’s three away games in charge since taking over as Sunderland boss have yielded three defeats, three own goals and three red cards.Away trips don’t seem to suit them.

Paul Lambert is spoilt for choice with players returning from injury, and we now know that Gardner and Luna are back in training, while Albrighton has been recalled from his loan at Wigan.

Much has been made of Benteke’s goal drought lately, but we’ve been getting some welcome goals from midfield. Villa have a free-kick maestro in Bacuna, and a captain improving all the time in Ron Vlaar, who kept us in the game on Monday. With an almost full squad to choose from against a side with terrible away form, the three points should be ours. UTV.


Follow MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid

Follow Lewis on Twitter – @rymondfootball


  1. the last time a team in the bottom played Villa needing something was Southampton and we got stuffed 4-1 a result i seriously think started the rot to our season last year

    hopefully we are a changed team this season ( although the west brom game showed we need to play & concentrate for the full 90 mins )

  2. He makes a good point about changing the systems, Shame a minority of villa fans can’t see it.

    • Changing systems can be great when you need to change the game. Starting the game with a different system every week just doesn’t allow the players to find any kind of rhythm.

      It is important for our young players to know how to play every system, but I would prefer Lambert to have a bit more continuity in the way he approaches games. For example we stuck with 4-3-3 for a few months at the end of last season and the players took to it brilliantly.

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