MX23RW : Monday, September 20 12:24:48| >> :60:228:228:
Jan 1, 2020 at 12.30pm UK at Turf Moor
Attendance: 19,561
Aston Villa
Wood (80')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Wesley (27'), Grealish (41')

Preview: Burnley vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of the Premier League encounter on New Year's Day between Burnley and Aston Villa.

Burnley play host to Aston Villa in the Premier League on New Year's Day looking to avoid a third successive defeat over the current hectic period.

As for Villa, they make the trip to Turf Moor sitting in the relegation zone, one point away from safety.

Match preview

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith on October 19, 2019© Reuters

There have been times this season when Villa's performances have suggested that they will not be involved in a relegation scrap come the end of the season, particularly in September and October when they only suffered defeats at Arsenal and Manchester City.

However, losing eight of their last 11 matches in the top flight have resulted in Dean Smith's team dropping into the bottom three, with Watford now only two points adrift in 19th position.

Despite having only recently penned a new contract, Smith is under pressure to keep his job, and there is a feeling that the club's hierarchy would not hesitate to make a change should their Premier League status be put in considerable jeopardy.

With games against Burnley, Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford all to come by January 21, there is an opportunity for Smith to turn things around at a time when he will also likely be provided with funds in the transfer market.

A poor return from those games may prove to be pivotal, however, heaping the pressure on Villa to beginning the New Year with a positive result at Turf Moor.

As for Burnley, Sean Dyche also faces the task of needing to lift his team with four defeats having been recorded from their last half-a-dozen outings.

While those setbacks have come against Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Manchester United, Dyche needs to ensure that the Clarets do not completely lose their way at this stage of the campaign.

After the meeting with Villa, Burnley face consecutive games with Chelsea, Leicester City, Man United and Arsenal, a run which raises the stakes ahead of their showdown with Villa.

As it stands, just six points separate the two clubs, and victory or defeat could have a decisive bearing on their ambitions for the rest of the season.

Burnley Premier League form: LLWWLL

Aston Villa Premier League form: LLLLWL
Aston Villa form (all competitions): LLWLWL

Team News

Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring against Southampton on February 2, 2019© Reuters

With Dyche attempting to manage an ongoing groin issue, Ashley Barnes could drop down to the substitutes' bench.

Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson will also hope to come into the team after being used in the second half against United.

Despite nearing a return from injury, Villa defender Tyrone Mings may not be risked at Turf Moor, with Bjorn Engels potentially being brought back into the team to replace Ezri Konsa.

Matt Targett will miss out with a hamstring injury, leaving Neil Taylor to be handed a recall, while Marvelous Nakamba, Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet may all return in midfield.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Hause, Taylor; Luiz, Nakamba; El Ghazi, Grealish, Trezeguet; Wesley

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We say: Burnley 3-1 Aston Villa

While Villa will feel that they have to right the wrongs of their most recent performances, they do not match up well against Dyche's hard-working side. On that basis, the home side could run out comfortable winners in the North-West.

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Conor Hourihane celebrates scoring for Aston Villa on November 25, 2019
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