Premier League

Brentford-Aston Villa Preview

Aston Villa's first-team coach Aaron Danks believes the Villa Park crowd will play a crucial role when the managerless hosts take on Brentford on Sunday.

Villa parted company with boss Steven Gerrard following a 3-0 defeat at Fulham on Thursday, a result which left them 17th in the Premier League table.

Danks will take charge of Villa for their meeting with the Bees, and wants to see the fans and the team come together following a testing period.

"I think that's the one thing everybody's feeling at the moment; we want to do this for the fans, we want to do this for the crowd," Danks said. "I'm a local lad, I know the area well, I'll have friends and family in all four corners of the stadium.

"They (the fans) will be huge for us, absolutely massive for us, and hopefully we can put something on the pitch they can be proud of and they can get behind on Sunday."

Brentford boss Thomas Frank was immediately touted as a potential replacement for Gerrard, but the Dane remains wholly focused on his work with the Bees.

"I understand why bookmakers have me as one of the favourites, because I'm a very good manager. I'm very happy at Brentford and have unfinished business," Frank said. "I'm always a big believer in keeping the manager for a long time. Villa were very good, first half especially, against Chelsea – sometimes you need the margins or luck from the football gods.

"The fans will want to back the team more because they know the boys need them. The fans got what they wanted because they didn't want the manager, now it's all about the players."

Brentford sit 10th in the Premier League table following a 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Wednesday, but have never won away at Villa in their history.

Aston Villa – Jacob Ramsey

Villa have scored just four goals at home in the Premier League this season, with just Everton and Wolves netting fewer (three). All four of the Villans' strikes have come via different players (Danny Ings, Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and Ramsey). Could the talented midfielder become the first of those players to double up?

Brentford – Ivan Toney

Toney has scored six goals in his last six Premier League games, accounting for 75 per cent of Brentford's total in these matches (6/8). Overall, Toney has scored 30 per cent of the Bees' Premier League goals, the highest percentage of any player for a team in the competition.

- Aston Villa have never lost a home league game against Brentford (W2 D5), although each of their last four against the Bees at Villa Park have been drawn.

- Brentford have alternated between drawing (four) and winning (four) each of their eight league meetings with Aston Villa this century, beating them 2-1 last time out in January.

- Since beating Southampton 4-0 in March, Aston Villa have scored just nine goals in their last 11 home league games, and never netted more than twice in a match. They've failed to score on four occasions in that run, with each of those coming against London opponents (Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Chelsea).

- After winning four of their last six away games in 2021-22, Brentford are yet to win on the road in the Premier League so far this term (D3 L2). Only twice in the last 24 seasons have the Bees failed to win any of their first six away games in a single league campaign (in 2012-13 and 2018-19).

- Aston Villa are winless in their last nine Premier League games played on a Sunday (D2 L7) since beating Leicester City 2-1 in December last season. The Villans have failed to score in all three of their Sunday games so far this term.

Updated October 21, 2022

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