Dec 28, 2013, 9:15 AM EST
With just two wins at Villa Park this season, it’s crucial for Aston Villa to get all three points against Swansea on Saturday (10 a.m. ET; watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
After four straight defeats, Villa fans are getting restless, and Paul Lambert is feeling the pressure. His side have the worst home record in all of the football league, and should the manager not be able to pull off a win against visiting Swansea, his job may be on the line.
It won’t be easy for Lambert, as injury to captain Ron Vlaar keeps his side weakened at the back, while Christian Benteke‘s absence leaves the squad still searching for goals. Lambert is, oddly enough, turning to Aleksandar Tonev, who steps in for Marc Albrighton. Villa will be hoping Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann can combine for goals, with Libor Kozák also dropping to the bench.
Swansea, too, aren’t having the best time of it this season, with just one win in their last six, but the fact that they’re better on the road than at home won’t give Villa any reassurance. Perhaps it will help that Michu is still out injured, as is this season’s top scorer, Nathan Dyer.
Michael Landrup has rung the changes, making seven switches from the side that lost 1-0 to Chelsea last time out. It’s Wilfried Bony that starts up top, while Pablo Hernández and Jonathan De Guzmán set up on either side of Jonjo Shelvey.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Luna, Westwood, Bacuna, Weimann, Delph, Agbonlahor, Tonev
Subs: Steer, Helenius, Bowery, Sylla, El Ahmadi, Kozak, Albrighton
Swansea: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Williams, Chico, Davies, Canas, de Guzman, Shelvey, Hernandez, Lamah, Bony
Subs: Zabret, Rangel, Amat, Britton, Pozuelo, Routledge, Vazquez.
- Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Tottenham 0
- WATCH: PST Extra – Relegation in focus ahead of six-pointer in Cardiff 0
- Major League Soccer Preview: An alternate view of the 2014 regular season 2
- Premier League Power Rankings: Top four shuffle, as pivotal stretch arrives – Week 28 0
- Ranking the candidates for MLS’s next two expansion teams (after Don Garber’s Tuesday Q-and-A) 5
- MLS Season Preview: Ranking the top 10 midfielders 0
- Portland Timbers Season Preview
- Toronto FC Season Preview
- Duvall, Oyongo & Stevenson Sign Contracts with NY Red Bulls
- Moyes Writes Open Letter to Man United Fans
- San Jose Earthquakes: Players To Watch In 2014 Season
- A Good Start Would Go A Long Way for the Chicago Fire
- Report: Man City Prepare $278 Million Offer for Lionel Messi
- Revs Notebook: Targeting Strikers, Imbongo's Reds & Fagundez's Left Foot
- Chicago Fire Players to Watch for in 2014
- FC Dallas Unveil 2014 Home Kit