It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
EPL action continues this Sunday as Aston Villa take on the Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. Both these clubs are on the rise, and will be looking to send a strong message to the rest of the league by winning here.
Although the Lions are yet to taste defeat in Premier League competition this year, they've only managed to draw both their away matches. The Rangers will be mindful of this fact as they try to win their first game at home after registering two impressive away wins.
Even history favors the newly-promoted Rangers, who beat Aston Villa 1-0 in their last encounter in the 2008-09 Carling Cup match at Villa Park. Aston Villa face an uphill battle to get past their habit of drawing--they've obtained that result in four games out of five this year--to overcome a club high on confidence.
Queens Park's recent signing Joey Barton will be the key that can help unlock the stingy Villa defense. His midfield play has also seen him effect some great defensive plays and as a result, the Rangers have not conceded a single goal when he's taken the field.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, will be eager to wash off the sting of their third round exit from the Carling Cup at the hands of the much weaker Bolton Wanderers. If midfielder Barry Bannan's words after this forgettable loss are to be believed, the Lions should bounce back and show everyone how good they are. Of course, this can only happen if the Rangers take their foot off the pedal.
On Monday, Norwich City and Sunderland lock horns in a mid-table battle at Carrow Road. Sunderland will be looking to take their away winning streak up to five against a Norwich team that has been plagued by discipline issues. The Canaries have fouled and given up penalties in each of their five games so far.
Giving the Black Cats such an advantage earlier on will prove detrimental, since the Norwich bench strength isn't deep enough to deal with regular yellow cards. However, the last five times these two sides have met, the home team has ended up winning 1-0. This time, the result might not be a home win but the Canaries should manage to hold on and secure a draw.
Here's the schedule for these matches, along with our predictions:
QPR (1) vs Aston Villa (0)
Loftus Road, Sunday 20:30 IST
Norwich City (1) vs Sunderland (1)
Carrow Road, Monday 00:30 IST
-Picture courtesy Reuters-
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