Brentford have won five, drawn five and lost eight of their 18 Premier League matches this season to collect 20 points, which has left them in 14th position in the table, nine points clear of the relegation zone, so it has been a successful campaign to date for the promoted club.
Thomas Frank’s side took four points from their two games against Leeds United and Watford earlier this month but have lost their last two against Brighton & Hove Albion and Man City without finding the back of the net.
Brentford will travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in their next league match after this one, while they will face Man City at the Etihad Stadium on February 9, and it will be fascinating to see where the Bees are in the table by the time that February rolls around.
Frank’s team picked up a point in a 1-1 draw with Villa in the reverse match earlier this season, while they recorded a 1-0 victory when the two teams last locked horns in Middlesex back in February 2019.
Villa, meanwhile, had been due to take on Leeds United at Elland Road on December 28, but the match was postponed due to coronavirus issues in the home side’s squad.
As a result, Steven Gerrard’s side have not been in action since suffering a 3-1 home loss to Chelsea on Boxing Day, and a total of 22 points from 18 matches has left them in 12th position in the table.
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Villa have shown huge improvement since Gerrard’s arrival as head coach, winning four of their seven matches, but they have struggled for consistency for much of the campaign and will take on Manchester United in the FA Cup and Premier League respectively in the middle of January.
The visitors have been victorious in two of their last three away league fixtures, beating Crystal Palace and Norwich City, and they are only three points behind eighth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers on the same number of matches (18), so a win here could propel them up the table.
Villa have not actually beaten Brentford in the league since February 1947, with the Bees enjoying the better of the previous Championship meetings between the two teams.