We look ahead to the 3pm kick off at the Bet 365 stadium, as Aston Villa face Stoke City – both of whom are struggling for form.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)

Aston Villa travel to the Bet 365 stadium this afternoon to face struggling Stoke City, who have been languishing near the lower echelons of the Sky Bet Championship since their relegation from the Premier League last season.

In today’s game, there will be a tribute to the late, World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, in which a mosaic will be displayed, alongside a minute’s silence, and Stoke City’s Jack Butland wearing a Banks inspired jersey in the City net. 

The two sides have met 18 sides before, and unfortunately for Aston Villa fans, it’s Stoke who’ve come out on top the most. Stoke have won seven of the 18, the sides have drawn another seven games, meaning that Aston Villa have only trumped Stoke four times when they have met.

Both sides are struggling for form at the moment, but Stoke’s form has been diminishing consistently without much improvement, whereas Aston Villa’s has been more of an up-and-down roller coaster. In the last ten games, Aston Villa have won just one, drawn five, and lost four, compared to the one win, three draws and six losses of Stoke City. 

On average, the Villa have scored a goal per game in their last ten, whereas Stoke have struggled to hit those heights – at the same time however, Villa are conceding just under two goals per game at the moment, compared to the 1.5 of Stoke. 

Both sides, statistically, have a 50% chance of scoring in this game, and and both sides have the same odds of conceding – pointing towards a score draw at the Bet 365.

At the time of writing, we don’t know the squads – but Aston Villa will be without Jack Grealish, John McGinn – who misses the game through a ban, Tom Carroll and Axel Tuanzebe. There’s a possibility for Jed Steer to start in goal for the away side this afternoon, depending on whether Croatian ‘keeper Lovre Kalinic has recovered from his concussion.

Stoke will be without Saido Berahino after being suspended by the club for his drink-driving incident earlier this week, but Tom Edwards could feature after recovering from a head injury. 

We’re going to go with a 1-1 draw between Stoke City and Aston Villa this afternoon, but with the shaky form both sides are in, anything could happen in Staffordshire.

If you can’t remember, the last time these sides met, it was a 2-2 draw at Villa Park, inspired by Jonathan Kodjia, who won a penalty and scored himself to bring the boys back from behind, twice. 

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