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Whoscored: Pleasant early Prem surprises

Southampton Sep 26, 2014
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Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
5 days ago

Benteke's comeback continues but Villa's goalless run drags on

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert spoke to the press following his side's 3-nil loss to Everton and noted that his side did not stick to their normal style and suffered as a result.

It ended on 81 minutes, the number 20 held aloft signalling Christian Benteke's substitution. The Belgian's first Premier League start since March was heartening to see but relatively inauspicious -- on what was a big day for the striker he and his teammates collectively suffered a very bad day in losing 3-0 to Everton.

Benteke's endeavours amounted to a couple of shots off target and a measure of success in winning aerial challenges. Given the seriousness of his Achilles injury, it's unreasonable...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
Oct 16, 2014

Villa would get big boost from Vlaar return and Grealish start

Key defender Ron Vlaar looks set for a Villa return on Saturday versus Everton.
Key defender Ron Vlaar looks set for a Villa return on Saturday versus Everton.

Much seems to have come to pass since Villa's last Premier League match.

Ron Vlaar has inched slowly back to fitness, Philippe Senderos and Fabian Delph have picked up injuries -- one while on international duty and one when back in club training -- and Jack Grealish has signed a new four-year contract.

Oh, and don't forget Roy Keane. The assistant manager has rarely been out of the headlines in the past week or so and not only because his beard is no more; though these days the Irishman's facial...

Oct 8, 2014

Stiliyan Petrov back in action for local Sunday League side

Stiliyan Petrov acknowledges the Villa fans' support during their game against Chelsea
Stiliyan Petrov waves to the Villa fans from the stands.

Over a year since being forced into premature retirement after being diagnosed with Leukaemia, former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has made his return to the game by signing up to play for his local Sunday League team.

Now in remission following two years of cancer treatment, Petrov has signed on for Solihull-based over 35's side Wychall Wanderers, where he's joined on the books by another ex-Premier League alumni: former Coventry City centre-back David Busst [most famous for shattering his...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
Oct 5, 2014

Villa must appreciate and embrace N'Zogbia's unpredictability

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop analyses Manchester City's 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Charles N'Zogbia has been a peripheral figure for large parts of an Aston Villa career which is now in its fourth season. During Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City, however, the Frenchman showed glimpses of his ability; if not exactly at his best then at least why he is good value for a regular place in the first 11.

He hasn't completely convinced in the claret and blue and there's always a suspicion that Paul Lambert doesn't entirely trust him. Having started the first three league games...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin
Oct 4, 2014

Three Points: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City -- Champs' late show

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop analyses Manchester City's 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

BIRMINGHAM, England -- A trio of thoughts on Manchester City's 2-0 win at Aston Villa in the Premier League.

1. Toure awakens to inspire City's win

Sunday could have uncomfortable viewing for Manchester City. By 4 p.m., Chelsea might have been seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table, and a title defence on the road to ruin.

A punchless performance at Villa Park would have left the champions lagging but, with eight minutes remaining, Yaya Toure, lambasted for lethargy since...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
Oct 2, 2014

Benteke is back, but should he play against Manchester City?

Aston Villa coach Paul Lambert looks forward to the return of star forward Christian Benteke in their upcoming match with Manchester City.

Christian Benteke's comeback from the Achilles tendon injury that cut short his 2013-14 season and denied him a place on Belgium's World Cup squad has kicked up a gear. Benteke's playing return, for Villa's U21 squad against Bolton on Monday, went well. The big striker played for an hour and scored a penalty. But should he play against Manchester City on Saturday?

- Report: Benteke nears Aston Villa return

The clamour to see Benteke back is understandable. Without the talismanic centre forward,...