Stoke vs Villa preview
13th March 2010
We may be rightly proud of our record of only one league defeat in 2010, but Villa come to the Brit unbeaten in the league this year and will provide some stern opposition as they will look to dispel any lingering memories of their last visit to the Brit when they were beaten 3-2 in our first ever Premier League home match back in August 2008.
The Villians have flattered to deceive yet again this season as they lie in 7th position but do have several games in hand over the others around them. The Potters will be keen to get another win under their belts as they push for that magical 40 point mark that Tony Pulis is always going on about.
Villa boss, Martin O'Neill is well aware of the threat from Rory Delap after they were undone by a throw-in at the Brit last season.
'I'm hoping we are as capable as any side in the Premier League in terms of dealing with it.
'We have defensive players who are not only capable of heading the ball, but are prepared to go there.
'But you can defend 14 or 15 of those very, very well but somewhere along the way, naturally one can slip past you.
'The trajectory of the ball can beat everybody and it only needs the slightest touch. It is an interesting aspect.'
Villa official site
Stoke City Team News:
The Potters have a big selection headache with Ryan Shawcross suspended and James Beattie and Salif Diao definitely out with injuries.
Injury doubts surround Ricardo Fuller and Glenn Whelan with Rory Delap a slight concern after Wednesday's trip to Turf Moor.
But there is some good news with Matty Etherington coming through the trip to Burnley unscathed and Danny Higginbotham is also reported to be ready for a possible return to action.
Player to watch: Tuncay
Tunny can be a little bit 'hit or miss'. He'll always give us 110% but you never quite seem to know when that bit of brilliance will come. But he did head his fourth goal of the season on Wednesday and with Ricardo Fuller likely to be missing he'll get another chance to start alongside Big Mama.
Aston Villa Team News:
Gabby Agbonlahor has overcome the virus that ruled him out of Villa's 4-2 FA Cup win at Reading last Sunday.
However, fellow forward John Carew will expect to keep his place after scoring a hat-trick in that sixth-round tie.
Player to watch: Gabby Agbonlahor
The Brummie striker has been a consistent performer for Villa over the past four full seasons he's played for them, notching up at least 10 goals each time, but he's already hit the 14 mark this year.
Match Facts & Stats
Saturday 20th March: Tottenham (home) kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 27th March: West Ham (away) kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 3rd April: Hull City (Home) kick-off: 3pm