Premier League Half-Term Reports: Big guns halt Aston Villa surge

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Team Name: Aston Villa

Current Premier League position: 10th

Giddy highs:

Despite being tipped for a relegation dogfight by many, Villa started the season in grand fashion by going unbeaten throughout their first four games to sit second in the table.

The win away at Anfield was the undoubted highlight of the run, with the Villans able to hold onto a 1-0 lead provided by Gabby Agbonlahor in just the ninth minute.

Crushing lows:

Villa’s early success was based on some rigid defensive resolve and a fair chunk of luck in front of goal. The latter eventually ran out and coming up against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City destroyed the former.

Paul Lambert’s side have lost their past three games 3-0, 3-0 and 2-0 and although it was to the three teams many expect to make up the Premier League’s top trio come May, the results have killed off the early optimism and pushed them down to mid-table.

Shining Star: Fabian Delph

The midfielder was one of the brighter sparks in Villa’s campaign last year, and his continued good form earned him a first England cap against Norway in a friendly in September, before Delph played the full 90 minutes as the Three Lions won away in Switzerland.

Biggest Disappointment: Joe Cole

Aston Villa’s summer transfer business was largely an exercise in raising the eyebrows of their supporters, but while some of those questionable signings have so far proved their doubters wrong, Cole looks an awful acquisition.

The midfielder is yet to make a league appearance for Villa and was far from impressive in the Capital One Cup home loss to Leyton Orient.

Best bet for the rest of the season: Aston Villa to be relegated @ 6/1

Final thoughts:

Villa’s fine start has been comprehensively ended by playing three games against the league’s best, and as they were somewhat fortunate to win those early matches, there’s still every chance Lambert’s side will fall into a relegation battle.

Grade: B

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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