Aston Villa’s away form this season has been utterly woeful. Just putting it out there. How many wins do they have from their last seven away games in all competitions? None. Woeful.
A 2-1 loss to Norwich City at Carrow Road on Tuesday showed that Dean Smith still has a lot to do to fix the problems in Villa’s first team squad. Fitness is an issue as is confidence, so a second game in four days is probably not what Smith had in mind. On the other hand, luck has to change somewhere and there is not a better place than Loftus Road on Friday night.
The R’s come into this one in good form too. They are unbeaten in their last four matches and a comprehensive 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday shows that it may just be one of Villa’s toughest games of the season if you look at the whole situation. Who would have said that at the start of the season?
Despite the loss in East Anglia, Smith is staying positive about his first week of games in charge of his boyhood club.
He said: “A win on Friday would make for a good six days. We can’t do anything about tonight now. It’s all about what we do next.
“We’ve got QPR live on the television again at the end of the week now. We’ll go and recover well and try and be ready for it.”
One of the biggest worries about Tuesday night was the injuries suffered to Albert Adomah and Tammy Abraham and it is good news for one while bad news for the other. It is expected that Abraham will be fit to play, but Adomah is a doubt for Villa’s trip to West London.
Speaking after the game, Smith was bullish about the winger’s chances of playing saying: “Albert has a knock on his knee. It was a knee on knee. He hobbled out.
“It was a blow, that one, because I thought he was giving their full-back some real trouble. Tammy got a kick in the head. I am sure Tammy will be fine for Friday. Albert would probably be a worry.”
With the close gap of time between the games, you would expect that Smith will continue to rotate his squad. John McGinn will return after his suspension while Jonathan Kodjia could start after not opening the game on the pitch against Norwich. Meanwhile, Yannick Bolasie is expecting to be given his first start of his loan spell after not travelling to Carrow Road as Smith wanted him to focus on his gym work back at Bodymoor Heath.
Scott Hogan is back in the mix after getting on a sub on Tuesday while Birkir Bjanarson will expect to return to the first eleven.
Expected Aston Villa line-up to face QPR: Nyland; Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Chester, Hutton; Bolasie, Grealish, Bjarnason, McGinn, Kodjia, Abraham
THE NUMBERS THAT MATTER
- Conor Hourihane’s assist against Norwich City took him to five for the season which is the highest of all the players in the Championship.
- Villa have won on both of their trips to Loftus Road since relegation from the Premier League, with Albert Adomah at the double in the 2-1 win last season.
- Dean Smith’s record against QPR is impressive as he has won four of his last five games against The R’s.
Written by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)
IMAGE CREDIT: AVFC