Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Aston Villa vs Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 4.30pm).
Jack Grealish will be available to face Fulham for Aston Villa after being out since February.
The skipper has been sidelined with a shin problem which has forced him to miss six games and England’s World Cup qualifiers.
Kortney Hause is back in training following a foot injury while Wesley (knee) is closing in on a return after 15 months out.
Fulham have no fresh injury concerns after all of their international players reported back in good health.
Captain Tom Cairney (knee) remains absent but Bobby Decordova-Reid could return after missing the last couple of games with a knock.
Manager Scott Parker will have a decision to make on whether to hand Aleksandar Mitrovic his first start in two months after the striker hit five goals in three games for Serbia.
How to follow
Aston Villa vs Fulham will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Live Premier League
Saturday 3rd April 7:45pm
Jones Knows prediction
Aston Villa are probably going to have to do something they’ve not managed in the last 10 games to win this one: and that’s score two or more goals in a game of football. Fulham, despite losing three of their last four matches, are a dangerous team in transition in forward areas and are likely to find the net at Villa Park. I’m happy to swerve a home win here. Villa just aren’t the Villa from earlier in the season that almost convinced me to back them for a top-four finish.
Dean Smith’s side have scored only six goals in their last 10 Premier League games – a statistic that will be argued by the unavailability of Jack Grealish for seven of those matches. However, he’s unlikely to be back at full Grealish throttle for this one having missed over a month of action. Plus, he’s coming up against a Fulham side that have kept four clean sheets in their last six away games, conceding only three goals. Scott Parker has built a team capable of playing without fear, racking up an run of eight games unbeaten on the road.
Goals do remain a problem but Fulham have the biggest difference between expected goals (34.1) and goals scored (23) in the Premier League this season, highlighting an underperformance which may just correct itself between now and the end of the campaign. If it does, they’ll stay up.
A low-scoring, away win looks the play here at 5/1.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-1
BETTING ANGLE: Fulham to win & under 2.5 goals (5/1 with Sky Bet)
Last time out…
- Aston Villa are looking to complete their first league double over Fulham since the 2009-10 Premier League campaign, following their 3-0 win at Craven Cottage earlier this season.
- Fulham have won just one of their last 17 away league games against Aston Villa (D7 L9), though it was in their last such visit to Villa Park in the Premier League (2-1 in April 2014).
- 11 of Aston Villa’s 12 Premier League wins this season have seen them keep a clean sheet, with the exception being their 7-2 victory over Liverpool in October. Indeed, since that victory, the Villans have lost 11 of their 13 games in which they’ve conceded at least once, drawing the other two.
- Fulham are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games, the longest such run in their top-flight history. They’ve also kept a clean sheet in four of their last six Premier League games on the road, as many as in their previous 50 in the competition.
- Aston Villa have won just one of their last seven Premier League games (D3 L3), failing to score on four occasions in that run. The Villans had only failed to score in three of their first 21 league games this term.
- Fulham have lost three of their last four Premier League games (W1), as many as they had in their previous 15 (W2 D10).
- Fulham have the biggest difference between expected goals (34.1) and goals scored (23) in the Premier League this season, netting 11 fewer goals than expected based on the quality of their chances.
- Aston Villa have used the fewest different players (21), made the fewest starting XI changes (31) and have the youngest average starting line-up (25y 225d) in the Premier League this season.
- Since netting the winner against Arsenal in February, Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins hasn’t scored in any of his last seven Premier League games, with the striker failing to score with any of his last 17 shots in the competition.
- Bobby De Cordova-Reid is Fulham’s highest-scoring player in the Premier League this season with five goals. No side has a lower scoring top scorer in the competition this term (West Brom and Wolves also 5).
Pitch to Post Preview: Jamie Redknapp on Arsenal vs Liverpool; Plus how do Man City replace Aguero? And crunch time for Newcastle
In this week’s Pitch to Post Preview Podcast Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp joins Peter Smith to look ahead to Saturday’s big clash between Arsenal and Liverpool. Could Jurgen Klopp’s side turn a frustrating season into a glorious one with a late top-four push and Champions League charge? Redknapp assesses their chances – and explains where they will have to strengthen in this summer’s transfer window.
We also hear from Sky Sports News’ Man City reporter Ben Ransom on life after Sergio Aguero at the Etihad Stadium and who Pep Guardiola and his recruitment team will target to replace the iconic Argentina ace.
Plus Sky Sports features writer Adam Bate examines Newcastle’s clash with Tottenham – two teams with lots still to play for during this run-in, and two managers who need a strong finish to the campaign.