Villa looked in danger of relegation to the Championship when Unai Emery first arrived as their manager. But the Spanish boss completely changed their fortunes within a few months as an impressive run of form saw them climb up the table. Currently, they are sitting 11th in the standings, with 14 points above the drop zone.
The Lions’ 3-0 success over Bournemouth last weekend was their third victory in four previous league matches. Emery now wants his side to show big ambition and push for a European place. That is achievable if they perform well in their upcoming matches next month. Below we look at Aston Villa’s fixtures in April.
1- Chelsea – April 1 (A)
Chelsea seem to have turned a corner under manager Graham Potter. The Blues have recorded some very positive results recently after enduring a miserable run of form. They progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals after defeating Borussia Dortmund in the previous round.
Some are even daring to suggest they could end up winning the European Cup this season. And while we will not go that far yet, there is no doubt the West Londoners have shown great improvement in recent weeks. Aston Villa should expect a very tough fixture at Stamford Bridge.
2- Leicester City – April 4 (A)
Leicester face a very tough fight to stay in the Premier League. The Foxes have some top quality players in their ranks but their recent run of form has been very concerning as they lost five of their last six matches in all competitions.
Villa, who lost 4-2 at home to Leicester last time out, will have a chance to take revenge when they travel to the King Power Stadium in April. However, Brendan Rodgers’ side are likely to provide a tough contest in their bid to survive in the richest football league.
3- Nottingham Forest – April 8 (H)
Eight clubs are currently battling to survive in the English top-flight this season, and Nottingham Forest are one of them. The Tricky Trees have failed to register a single win in their previous six league games and are now just two points above the drop zone.
Villa played out a 1-1 draw with Forest in their previous meeting, with Ashley Young cancelling out the advantage of Emmanuel Dennis’ goal. Will Emery’s side fare any better in their league encounter at Villa Park?
4- Newcastle United – April 15 (H)
Newcastle recorded back-to-back wins in the Premier League after hitting a slump in form in February. They are expected to give a tough competition to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in the race for the top-four finish.
Eddie Howe’s side looked to have regained their form and they could prove to be very tough opponents for Villa.
5- Brentford – April 22 (A)
Brentford are poised to make another strong finish in the Premier League after they secured a 13th-placed finish last season. They are currently four points above Chelsea to be eighth in the standings.
However, the Bees will not have any pleasant memories of their previous meeting with Aston Villa as they had suffered a disappointing 4-0 result. Frank Frank’s men will likely be very motivated to perform well when they host Aston Villa next month.
6- Fulham – April 25 (H)
Fulham made an impressive start to life in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship last season. Under Marco Silva, the Cottagers have recorded 11 wins and six draws from 27 matches to be just three points behind Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion.
The West Londoners will travel to Villa Park towards the end of April, hoping to claim a double over the Midlands outfit.
7- Manchester United – April 30 (A)
This will be the toughest fixture for Villa in April as Manchester United have been absolutely outstanding this season under Erik ten Hag. Beating United at their fortress Old Trafford will be a big ask but Emery’s men can take some confidence from the fact that they beat the Manchester giants 3-1 in their previous league meeting.
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