Clough Says Villa Aren’t Playing Brilliantly But Praises Efficiency

Burton Albion v Aston Villa 2017

It wasn’t the best performance against QPR – but Villa just can’t stop winning. In some ways it’s nice to see three points despite not playing particularly well. Although, we haven’t actually played well for the majority of any game this season.

Home form has been key to our impressive run but things have not been so impressive on the road.

Whether or not Villa realistically have something to play for is open for debate, but Burton Albion will be desperate for a win to help move clear of the relegation zone.

It will be a tough away trip for Villa. Can we keep climbing the table?

Bruce on Form

“We’ve been excellent. That’s why we’ve been able to get the results.

“Of course, we’ve relied heavily up the pitch on Jonathan Kodjia.

“But it’s a team effort. It’s not just the back four, either. It’s the midfield players and the goalkeeper too. It’s the whole team.

“You defend as a team, you attack as a team.

“Defensively we’ve been spot on in the last few weeks. We’ll need to be again tomorrow at Burton.

“Looking ahead to tomorrow, who would have thought…Burton Albion playing Aston Villa. It’s remarkable what football can do.

“It’s difficult there. I’ve been there a couple of times. It’s a hard place to play. We’ll have to be at our best defensively if we’re going to get something.

Clough on Villa

“They (Aston Villa) have had a great run of late.
“I went to see them on Tuesday night against QPR and I think they are in that mode at the moment where they aren’t playing brilliantly but they are getting results.
“Four on the spin now I think they’ve won, and that in itself breeds confidence – they will come here fancying their chances.”

Burton midfielder Luke Murphy on Villa

“We’re at home so we need to take the game to them.
“Like Newcastle they have got Premier League players as well but I’m sure if we make it hard for them and play our football at the same time, they won’t enjoy coming to the Pirelli Stadium.”

Memory Match

We have never played Burton in a league game at the Pirelli Stadium, although Villa did win 2-1 there in a 2012 friendly.

Burton – Last five matches at home: W 3, D 1, L 1

Villa – Last five matches away: W 2, L 3

One to Watch

Jackson Irvine – The midfielder scored the winning goal against Huddersfield last weekend just days after scoring for Australia.

Forest, Norwich, Derby, Blues and Sheffield Wednesday are all among the teams who have suffered defeat at Burton

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

In the midst of our good form it’s easy to forget that our away record is generally poor. Villa Park may be a fortress, but we’ve only won two away games in 2017.

Recent away games have found us facing the teams hovering in and around the relegation zone, but it’s a different story when it comes to Burton.

They are four points clear of the relegation zone which is remarkable given their recent rise through the Football League.

The Brewers lost their last home game to Brentford but there’s been some good results at Pirelli Stadium. Forest, Norwich, Derby, Blues and Sheffield Wednesday are all among the teams who have suffered defeat at Burton. Burton seem to do well against the Midlands sides!

As well as this, the Brentford defeat was their first home defeat in five Championship home games. They responded to this result by winning 1-0 away at Huddersfield!

There are a lot of signs that Burton can stay up this season and with four of their final six games at home, they have a strong chance.

A win against Villa would be another step in the right direction for Clough’s men – they will have plenty of motivation.

“I think they are in that mode at the moment where they aren’t playing brilliantly but they are getting results” – clough ON VILLA FORM

Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag

Like Villa, Burton have enjoyed their best form at home, and we mentioned above that the Brentford game was their first home defeat in a while.

In that game however, Burton squandered a 3-1 lead and ended up losing 5-3.

Despite this, such heavy defeats have been rare in their first season in the Championship, but they have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 matches.

Villa’s defence has been surprisingly sturdy – it’s refreshing after years of conceding daft goals. Seven of our last eight league games have been won with a clean sheet, so hopefully this defensive grit continues.

Brewers lost 1-0 to Newcastle on Wednesday despite performing well, and the extra day of preparation could help Bruce’s squad during Saturday’s game.

Despite our emphasis on home form we’ve taken 21 points from 10 games, so it would be reasonable to expect this to continue against Burton this weekend.

With Kodjia in such good form – he’s scored seven goals in his last seven league games – the Burton defence could be busy.

While Burton are far better than Wigan and Rotherham, hopefully we can respond well to another away day test in the Championship.


Follow Lewis on Twitter – @rymondfootball

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