Aston Villa’s bid to land a first top-half Premier League finish since 2010/11 continues on Saturday as they travel to the King Power Stadium to meet fellow mid-table rivals Leicester City.
Steven Gerrard has had a fortnight to rally his troops and restore his team’s confidence after overseeing his side lose four consecutive league matches, including a 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last time out.
A run of underwhelming results has seen Villa slip to 15th in the Premier League table, albeit they are only four points adrift of 10th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion.
Leicester are not enjoying the best of times either, having won just one of their last four league outings (D2, L1) as they head into the weekend with a five-point lead on Villa.
However, the King Power Stadium has not been a friendly environment for the visiting sides of late, with Brendan Rodgers’ men winning their last three league games here.
Villa’s trip to the East Midlands, coupled with other weekend Premier League matches, is available to watch live online via soccer streams.
Ross Barkley’s last-gasp winner sunk Leicester in this exact fixture last season, meaning they could lose consecutive home league meetings to Villa for the first time since 1981.
Yet, amongst sides they have met 20+ times in the Premier League, the Foxes have only registered a higher win ratio against Leeds United (45%) than against the Lions (40%).
Despite taking an early lead through Harvey Barnes, Leicester found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline in the reverse fixture at Villa Park earlier this season.
Another defeat here would see them suffer their first league double at the hands of the Villa Park outfit since 2003/04.
Villa stare at the risk of losing five Premier League games in a row for the second time this season, having experienced a similar feat under Dean Smith between October and November.
Before succumbing to identical 2-1 defeats West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last two away league matches, the Lions had won two on the bounce beforehand without conceding.
A brace of overwhelming victories over Leeds and Brighton & Hove Albion should serve as an inspiration for Gerrard’s men, who need all three points here to remain in contention for a top-half finish.
Conceding first would put those hopes firmly to bed as Villa have lost all nine Premier League away outings when shipping the opening goal this season.
Latest Transfer Updates
Of the latest Aston Villa transfer news, the one involving the future of Philippe Coutinho continues to generate the greatest interest.
Villa brought the Brazilian playmaker in on a short-term loan from Barcelona in January with an option to make the deal permanent for £33m.
Following an inspiring start to his Villa Park adventure, the 29-year-old has blow hot and cold of, making the Lions doubt their initial choice to exercise the buy-out clause.
According to Spanish news outlet Sport, the Camp Nou chiefs will hold showodown talks with Coutinho’s representatives to discuss the player’s future.
While the ex-Liverpool man’s future remains up in the air, Luis Suarez is on the verge of leaving Atletico Madrid after tumbling down the pecking order at Wanda Metropolitano.
The veteran striker could be the next big name to move to Villa Park, although several MLS clubs are said to be keeping a keen eye on the former Barcelona star.
Villa signed Danny Ings from Southampton last summer, but the Englishman’s patchy form has prompted the club to seek other options.
Suarez has emerged as a potential candidate, and the prospect of a reunion with Gerrard could be too tempting to resist if the opportunity presents itself.
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