Steven Gerrard’s rejuvenated Aston Villa host a struggling Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
While Villa earned a fourth victory in six games under Gerrard on Tuesday night, Burnley had their midweek match at home to Watford postponed two and a half hours before kick off due to a COVID-outbreak in the visiting side.
Here’s all you need to know about the Premier League’s latest claret and blue clash.
When is kick off? Saturday 18 December, 15:00 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Villa Park
TV channel/live stream? NBC (US), DAZN (Canada)
Highlights? Sky Sports YouTube Channel, Match of the Day (BBC One 10.25pm – UK)
Referee? Andy Madley
VAR? Jonathan Moss
Aston Villa experienced a spate of COVID infections this week, losing Anwar El Ghazi and second-choice goalkeeper Jed Steer to positive tests along with two members of staff. Morgan Sanson missed the midweek win over Norwich City with an unrelated illness.
Wingers Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey are both sidelined with muscular injuries until the other side of Christmas, while Marvelous Nakamba has had his run in the side brought to an abrupt halt with a knee injury that requires specialist examination.
You can read Aston Villa’s predicted lineup here.
While the late cancellation of Burnley’s midweek fixture left thousands of Hornets fans (and commuting Clarets) languishing in Lancashire, it may well have afforded Maxwel Cornet enough time to recover from a thigh injury.
Dale Stephens is back in contention after hurdling the COVID-19 protocols and Connor Roberts has returned from hospital after an infection. However, the Wales international, much like Ashley Barnes (thigh), will miss out on the visit south.
You can read Burnley’s predicted lineup here.
Burnley have only lost one of the past six meetings between these sides, all taking place in the last seven years of top-flight football – for which Dyche’s team have been ever-present while Villa sunk into the second tier in 2015.
Overall, Villa boast the superior record, claiming 51 victories across all competitions to Burnley’s 41, with 28 draws shared. Although, the upcoming hosts haven’t beaten Burnley on home turf since Stewart Downing’s extra time winner in the League Cup fourth round more than a decade ago.
Villa, despite their considerably loftier league position, have actually lost more Premier League matches than Burnley this season, racking up nine defeats in the competition from just 17 games.
However, Dyche’s Clarets are yet to earn a single victory on the road this term and have claimed all three points via draws. With Villa thriving under the stewardship of a certain former Liverpool midfielder, Burnley might not buck that trend this weekend.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-0 Burnley