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Match Previews

Preview: Aston Villa v Barnsley!

14 February 2017

Barnsley will be looking to continue their fine recent away form when they travel to Aston Villa on Tuesday night.

The Reds have lost just once in their last six matches on the road in all competitions; winning three and drawing two, including Saturday’s stalemate at Reading.

That point leaves Paul Heckingbottom’s men in 10th place and six points outside the top six but having kept clean sheets in their last two games, the Reds will travel to Villa Park confident of picking up another positive result.

Hosts Villa go into the game on the back of their fifth defeat in six league games and their third on the bounce.

It leaves them 10 points below the Reds but despite that, Saturday’s 1-0 home loss against Ipswich was their first of the season at Villa Park.

Prior to that defeat, Steve Bruce’s side had drawn seven and won six in front of their own faithful and they will be desperate to avoid back-to-back home losses when the Reds come to town.

Previous Meetings 

The Reds’ trip to Villa Park will be the Club’s first in nearly 19 years.

On their last visit, a first-half goal from Ashley Ward was enough to earn Barnsley a 1-0 win in the Premier League.

That remains the Club’s only ever victory in this fixture however, with Villa winning 13 of the 18 meetings, while there has also been four draws between them.

The most recent of those stalemates came earlier this season when Sam Winnall’s 90th minute effort rescued a point for Paul Heckingbottom’s men and after the Reds’ success at Villa Park back in 1998, they will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run against Villa to three games on Tuesday.

Team News

Alex Mowatt sits out the final game of his three-match ban after being sent off against Wolves last month. His central midfield partner Josh Scowen remains a doubt after coming off against Reading, with George Moncur set to replace him.

Elsewhere, Ryan Kent and Adam Armstrong will be looking to push their way back into Paul Heckingbottom’s starting XI after dropping to the bench against Reading, while Ryan Hedges could make his first start for the Reds.

Former Barnsley defender James Bree is a doubt for the hosts after a swollen knee saw him miss Saturday’s loss against Ipswich.

Jack Grealish does return from a one-game ban however, while Conor Hourihane is likely to start in midfield alongside fellow January recruits Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason.

One man who will not feature against the Reds is Gabby Agbonlahor who is ruled out with a torn hamstring.

Man in the Middle

Geoff Eltringham will be in charge of a Barnsley game for the third time this season on Tuesday night. 

The County Durham-based official was at the helm for the Reds’ 2-1 win at Preston in September, as well as their 2-2 home draw against Bristol City a month later.

That means Eltringham has now been the man in the middle for nine Barnsley games in total, with the Reds winning three, losing four and drawing two in his company.

Aston Villa meanwhile have met with Tuesday’s referee on just two previous occasions, with both coming this season and both ending in Villa victories.

In November he watched over the Club’s 3-1 success against Cardiff in which he sent off Bluebirds’ defender Lee Peltier, before taking charge of Villa’s narrow 1-0 victory at QPR in mid-December.

They are two of 28 matches which Eltringham has overseen so far this term; brandishing 86 yellow cards and four reds in the process.

Their Star Man

In late August Villa completed the signing of forward Jonathan Kodjia to spearhead their attack following the Club’s relegation from the Premier League.

The 27-year-old arrived at Villa Park following an exceptional 2015-16 campaign which saw him net 20 goals in 48 games in his one and only season at Bristol City after joining them from French side Angers.

It was following those performances that Kodjia made his debut for the Ivory Coast last May and he recently made two appearances for Côte d'Ivoire at the African Cup of Nations.

His return from that competition has been a timely boost for Villa however, with Steve Bruce’s side failing to score in three of their four games without the powerful front man.

Despite not finding the back of the net on his immediate return to the Villa line-up, he netted his 10th of the campaign four days later against Nottingham Forest.

The pacey attacker didn’t make the fastest of starts at Villa Park, netting just once in his first six games but since then he has bagged nine goals in his last 16 outings including a brace against Blackburn, as well as winners against both Fulham and QPR.

With his pace on and off the ball, sheer strength and ability to score all types of goals, Villa have a player who has proved on numerous occasions that he is one of the best forwards in this division.

Mutual Man

Rob Edwards may have joined the Reds in 2011 but it was at Villa Park where the Shropshire-born defender began his career.

He made his debut for Villa in December 2002, just three days after his 20th birthday; helping the Club keep a clean sheet against Middlesbrough. 

That was the start of several great months for Edwards which included eight more outings and an international debut for Wales against Azerbaijan. 

Despite all that and another appearance for Wales at the start of the following 2003-04 campaign, he spent the entire season away from Villa Park on loan at Crystal Palace and then Derby.

Upon his return to the Club, Edwards was told he could move on for pastures new; joining local rivals Wolves where he would spend four seasons, making over 100 appearances.

It was following a successful three-year spell at Blackpool – who he helped reach the Premier League - that the versatile defender signed for Barnsley however, penning a two-year deal.

Just like on his Villa debut, Edwards kept a clean sheet on his first outing for the Reds.

It was the first of 18 starts he would make in South Yorkshire, helping his new side to victories over Reading, Burnley, Derby and Portsmouth.

Despite being regularly involved in Keith Hill’s side, the former Villa man was sent out on loan to Fleetwood and then Shrewsbury in the 2012-13 season, before leaving Oakwell permanently at the end of the campaign.

After failing to find a new Club, Edwards announced his retirement from the game at the age of 30, with the now 34-year-old currently first team coach at Wolves under Paul Lambert.

Form Guide

Barnsley's last five away from home: (WDLWD)

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Barnsley

Blackpool 0-0 Barnsley (FA Cup)

Fulham 2-0 Barnsley

Rotherham 0-1 Barnsley

Reading 0-0 Barnsley

Aston Villa’s last five at home: (WWDDL)

Aston Villa 1-0 Wigan Athletic 

Aston Villa 2-1 Burton Albion

Aston Villa 1-1 Leeds United

Aston Villa 2-2 Preston North End

Aston Villa 0-1 Ipswich Town

Going to the match?

Aston Villa plays at Villa Park, its address is as follows:

Villa Park

Trinity Rd

Birmingham

B6 6HE

How to get there

By Car:

From the North West or South West:

Aston Villa recommends you exit junction 7 of the M6 and follow signs for Birmingham A34. After passing Alexander Stadium stay in the nearside lane and leave the main carriageway. Matchday car parks are signposted on the left-hand side.

From North East or South East:

Aston Villa recommends you exit junction 6 of the M6 and follow signs for the A38 (not A38M). At the island, turn right following signs for Villa Park. Matchday car parks are available.

Parking:

Please be aware that in the interest of pedestrian safety, a traffic exclusion zone is imposed around Villa Park on matchdays and a residents parking scheme will also be in operation.

Parking in local streets should be avoided at all times.

By Train:

The two nearest train stations to Villa Park are Witton and Aston. 

The information below is an approximate guide and Aston Villa recommend you plan your journey at Network West Midlands or visit London Midland. 

Aston Station

Route end to end destination: Lichfield Trent Valley to Longbridge / Redditch via Birmingham New Street

Duration of journey: Birmingham New Street - Aston: 5 - 10mins; Longbridge to Aston: 27 - 30mins; Lichfield Trent Valley to Aston: 32 - 35mins; Redditch to Aston: 44 - 52mins

Aston Station is approximately 15mins on foot from Villa Park.

Witton Station

Route end to end destination: Walsall to Birmingham New Street

Duration of journey and frequency of service: Birmingham New Street - Witton: 9mins; Walsall to Witton: 15mins.

Witton Station is approximately 5mins on foot from Villa Park.

By Bus:

Villa Park is supported by several services. The main two services are the no 7 and no 11 services. In addition, services 65, 67, 104 & 114 also operate to within walking distance of Villa Park.

If you can't make the match at Villa Park you can enjoy a full-match replay and LIVE COMMENTARY on Barnsley Player HD!

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