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Match preview: Aston Villa v Ipswich Town - Everything you need to know

PUBLISHED: 17:27 24 November 2017

Martyn Waghorn celebrates with Emyr Huws after Ipswich Town took the lead against Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night. Photo: Steve Waller

Martyn Waghorn celebrates with Emyr Huws after Ipswich Town took the lead against Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town take on Aston Villa, at Villa Park, in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the match.

Ipswich Town are facing an improved Aston Villa side today, but Mick McCarthy says that statement is also true in reverse.

Relegation-fighting Town battled to a 1-0 win at Villa Park back in February courtesy of Emyr Huws’ late strike.

Villa had just splashed the cash in January and experienced boss Steve Bruce came under pressure following a 13th place finish.

Albert Adomah has scored nine goals for Aston Villa this season. Photo: PA Albert Adomah has scored nine goals for Aston Villa this season. Photo: PA

A slow start to this season followed for the Midlands outfit, but they are finally living up to their pre-season promotion favourites tag with eight wins from the last 11, elevating them to fourth in the Championship standings.

TEAM NEWS: McCarthy hints at Huws start

“I remember going into that tough spell of fixtures (back in February) saying ‘we’ve had a bad time but I think we’ll be alright this month’ and we were,” said McCarthy.

“We played really well that day, we started 3-5-2, and Emyr got the winner late on.

“It would have been the most ridiculous decision ever to get shot of Steve because his record as a Championship manager shows he’s very good at what he does.

TEAM NEWS: Bishop ready for role of super sub

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is happy with how his team are playing. Photo: Steve Waller Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is happy with how his team are playing. Photo: Steve Waller

“They are progressing and I imagine they will be in the top six at the end of the season.

“They might be a different prospect now but so are we because we’re playing well.”

Town, three points off the play-off places with Tuesday’s game-in-hand at Derby to come, are unbeaten in three following a 3-0 home win against Preston and successive 2-2 draws against Hull (a) and Sheffield Wednesday (h).

Emyr Huws crosses into the box for Martyn Waghorn (not pictured) to head home for Town's second goal.    Picture: STEVE WALLER Emyr Huws crosses into the box for Martyn Waghorn (not pictured) to head home for Town's second goal. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Villa, who beat Sunderland 2-1 at home on Tuesday night, have had an extra day of rest.

“I’ve no idea if that will make a difference,” said McCarthy.

YOUR SAY: Who should replace McGoldrick in Town team?

“Bolton came down here having played so soon before the game and ran around for 90 minutes without it seeming to impact them at all. If we go up there and start well we will be full of running.”

He continued: “There’s not been a lot of training. The players who hadn’t been playing and the subs had a bit of work yesterday (Thursday) and we’ve just had a small-sided game today (Friday).

“It’s pretty much impossible to do anything. But when you’ve played well and performances have been good it’s easy to tick over and go again.

Steve Bruce has turned things around at Aston Villa. Photo: PA Steve Bruce has turned things around at Aston Villa. Photo: PA

“It might be different personnel but we’ll be playing exactly the same way.”

• TOWN TALK: Downes and Nydam face increased competition, says McCarthy

Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane

OPPOSITION LOWDOWN

Team name: Aston Villa

Nickname: The Villans

Manager: Steve Bruce (Oct ‘16: P57 W26 D12 L19)

Ground: Villa Park (42,660)

Last three finishes: 13th (Championship), 20th, 17th (Premier League)

Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park last season. Picture: PAGEPIX Emyr Huws celebrates scoring Ipswich's late winner at Villa Park last season. Picture: PAGEPIX

Current position: 4th (P18 W9 D5 L4 F26 A17)

Form: WWLWDWLWWW

Last three: W 2-1 Sunderland (h), W 2-1 QPR (a), L 2-1 Sheff Weds (h)

Top-scorers: Adomah (9), Hourihane (5)

Most assists: Snodgrass (4), Elmohamady (3)

Biggest win 17/18: 4-0 Burton (a) – Sept 26

Biggest loss 17/18: 3-0 Cardiff (a) – Aug 12

PLAYER: ‘It messed with my head’ – Huws on injury frustration

STAT ATTACK

17 – Town’s 1-0 win at Villa on February 11 was their last away clean sheet in the league (17 games since then).

1 – Home league defeat for Villa in 17/18 (W5 D3)

1 – Away blank for Town in 17/18 (10 games)

LAST MEETING

Aston Villa 0 Ipswich Town 1

Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017

Emyr Huws arrived late in the box to stab home an 83rd minute goal and secure struggling Town a gutsy win.

The Blues rode their luck early on, saw Steven Taylor and Christophe Berra go off injured, while Bartosz Bialkowski was in fine form.

TEAM NEWS

Ipswich Town

• Jonas Knudsen has served a one-game ban and will replace Myles Kenlock at left-back.

• David McGoldrick is out for a month after undergoing surgery on the deep cut (groin) he sustained during Wednesday night’s 2-2 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

MICK SAYS: McCarthy not seeking retrospective punishment for Loovens

• Emyr Huws is ready to make his first start of the season after stepping off the bench in midweek, while Teddy Bishop could be back on the bench. McCarthy says there will be ‘a few fresh faces in the team’.

• Tommy Smith (calf), Tom Adeyemi (hamstring), Luke Hyam and Andre Dozzell (both knee) remain out.

Aston Villa

• Teenager Keinan Davis has been leading the line in the absence of injured trio Jonathan Kodjia (ankle), Scott Hogan (stomach) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (calf).

• Former England and Chelsea defender John Terry (foot) remains sidelined.

OPPOSITION KEY MAN

Conor Hourihane

Irish midfielder was released by Roy Keane without making a single first team appearance for Town. Worked his way back up with Plymouth/Barnsley. Set-piece specialist weighs in with plenty of assists.

BETTING

Aston Villa 7/10

Draw 3/1

Ipswich Town 5/1

REFEREE

Tony Harrington (Cleveland)

Games: 17, Yellows: 61, Reds: 3

STUART’S PREDICTION

Aston Villa 2 Ipswich Town 1

Villa are in decent form. Extra day of rest could make the difference.

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