Statistical Preview: Aston Villa vs Fulham

Aston Villa could not kick on after Ashley Westwood’s early goal at Old Trafford, eventually going down 4-1 to a rejuvenated Manchester Utd. Paul Lambert’s side were not able to takes the chances on offer in the second half and he will be looking for an immediate response against Fulham this weekend.

Fabian Delph has been a crucial part of this Aston Villa side this season, often being at the centre of both their attack and defence. The midfielder leads the Villa squad this season for attacking contributions with 90 (assists, shots on goal, crosses, dribbles), whilst also leading the squad for tackles attempted with 123 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Christian Benteke unsurprisingly remains Villa’s most effective attacking threat this season, leading the line well as he looks to return to the same level of form as his last campaign. He’s had 53 attempts on goal, this highest in the Villa squad, with 52.8% of them working the ‘keeper.

Utilising Benteke’s physicality against a Fulham defence perhaps lacking in confidence could well be a key part of Paul Lambert’s gameplan this weekend. Marc Albrighton has whipped in more crosses that any other Villa player this season (20) and could well be tasked with keeping the imposing Belgian well-supplied with attacking ball.

Fulham were left five points from safety after they went down to a 1-3 defeat to Everton at Craven Cottage last Sunday, a second half strike from Ashkan Dejagah providing scant consolation for the Fulham faithful.

Lewis Holtby has been impressive since joining Fulham on loan from Spurs, adding further pace and dynamism to their attacking play. He’s also shown himself more than happy to track back and contribute defensively though, a key attribute for a side in Fulham’s predicament. He’s attempted 63 tackles this season, winning an excellent 79.4% of them according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Scott Parker has continued to be the rock in the Fulham midfield this season, completing more passes in the opponent’s half than any other Fulham player. He’s racked up 529 and an impressive average rate of one every 3.66 minutes he’s been on the pitch.

Combatting the qualities of Christian Benteke will no doubt be crucial to Fulham’s chances of success this weekend, a task with which Fernando Amorebieta could well be charged with. He’s completed more clearances than any other Fulham player this season with 128 to his name.