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28 September 2019 Venue Villa Park Attendance

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Aston Villa v Burnley

Inside track on Saturday's big game at Villa Park

27 September 2019

The Clarets go to Villa Park for the first time since May, 2015 on an afternoon they headed out of the Premier League - despite a 1-0 win secured by a goal from Danny Ings on his last appearance for the club.

Villa followed 12 months later as Sean Dyche’s men went the opposite direction by bouncing straight back to the top-flight as Championship winners.

A reunion is now finally on the agenda – in more ways than one – following the Midlanders’ promotion success via the play-offs last season.

Heaton Dyche.jpg

Burnley will, of course, face former goalkeeper Tom Heaton at Villa Park with Clarets’ boss Sean Dyche paying tribute to his ex-club captain in the build-up: “He's a top fella off and on the pitch. I like him as a person, and I like him as a professional and as a player.

“I'm full of respect for Tom and I'm sure the group will be as well but as I say; during the game that goes out of the window because we want to win,” said Dyche.

With the Clarets’ focus on trying to make it successive league wins for the first time this season, Dyche’s sole concern will be backing one of his players to find a way past Heaton.

And with Chris Wood up-and-running for the campaign with both goals to beat Norwich City a week ago, Dyche is happy with his strikeforce.

Wood 1st goal.jpg

“All strikers want to score goals and he (Wood) and Ashley Barnes know they got the shirts at the minute,” added Dyche.

“But they also know that Jay Rod is training hard and well. He's trying to affect games when he comes on and Vydra has popped up as well, looking sharper.

“There is a big challenge in that striking department. It's helpful for them that I often go with two strikers.

“We have adapted it with a man in behind as well, usually with Jeff playing in the hole. They know there are no guarantees, but the demand is high in all areas of this group at the minute particularly in the striking department.”

Team news

The Clarets are in good shape injury-wise, with Danny Drinkwater the only absentee.

The on-loan midfielder is back in light training as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury but not yet in a position to push for a place.

Gudmundsson goal.jpg

Johann Berg Gudmundsson returns to the squad after missing the last three Premier League games.

Villa made nine changes to their starting line-up for their mid-week Carabao Cup win at Brighton, with Tom Heaton among those to have been given the night off.

Boss Dean Smith is likely to bring back most of his regular Premier League starters but is still without midfielder Henri Lansbury (ankle), striker Jonathan Kodjia (cheekbone) and defender James Chester (hamstring).

Form guide

The Clarets picked up their first win since the opening day with last Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Norwich City to make it eight points from their opening six games.

Burnley are unbeaten in their last two away games – picking up points at Wolves and Brighton.

Wood 2nd.jpg

Villa are through to the last 16 of the Carabao Cup and a home Midlands’ derby with Wolves after a third-round win at Brighton on Wednesday night.

Dean Smith’s side also got past Crewe Alexandra in the League Cup competition, but in the Premier League have picked up only four points to sit in the bottom three.

Those points have come from their last two home league games, with a win over Everton followed by a goalless draw against West Ham. Villa twice led at Arsenal last weekend but conceded two late goals to lose 3-2.

Opposition camp

Villa goalkeeper and former Clarets’ captain Tom Heaton told the Burnley Express: “I'm looking forward to the game.

“I had a fantastic time at Burnley with some fantastic people, and fans, but time moves forward.

Tom Heaton Aston Villa.jpg

“Whether it's Turf Moor or Villa Park, Wembley, there's a job to be done. It's important nothing distracts from that.

“I obviously have a history there and we had some incredible times. It was an important time in my life, but everything has moved on.

“I have good relationships with everybody there, but I can't focus on names and faces, individual, personal battles.

“I just have to be focused on my job and try and deal with what happens on the day. That's how I've always looked at it.”

Match stats

The Clarets have won three and drawn four of the last eight top-flight meetings between the sides.

Burnley have won their last five games against newly-promoted clubs – including last Saturday’s victory against Norwich City.

Ex-Clarets keeper Tom Heaton is looking for a third successive clean sheet at Villa Park. The club hasn’t managed that in the top-flight since 2012.


Lee Mason


Martin Atkinson


Saturday, 3pm



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Match Reports

REPORT: Aston Villa 2 Burnley 2

Jay-Rod and Chris Wood on target as battling Burnley twice hit back for a point

28 September 2019

Jay Rodriguez and Chris Wood both scored on their return to the Midlands as the Clarets twice came from behind to take a precious point from a pulsating encounter.

Burnley hadn’t been to Villa Park since May, 2015 but this was worth the wait as Sean Dyche’s men extended their unbeaten run away from home with a gutsy performance capped by two headed equalisers.

Rodriguez wheels away 1.jpg

Jay Rodriguez claimed his first Premier League goal for the Clarets after coming off the bench at half-time to cancel out Anwar El-Ghazi’s first-half opener.

And after John McGinn had volleyed Villa back in front with 12 minutes of normal time to go, Wood hit back instantly with his third goal in two games back in the city where he had played on loan with Birmingham.

Rodriguez’s past with West Bromwich Albion made him a more obvious target for the Villa fans but the Clarets’ summer signing had the final word as he opened his account to leave honours even with former Burnley captain Tom Heaton as the Clarets' determination to not be beaten again came to the fore.

Rodriguez goal.jpg

Heaton was given a warm welcome by both sets of supporters on the goalkeeper's first reunion with the Clarets, but any feeling of bonhomie was soon put one on side by both sets of players in a full-blooded clash that barely contained a dull moment.

Villa - battling to get out of the bottom three on their return to the top-flight following a three-year absence - had the first chance just three minutes in when the lively McGinn headed wide from a Matt Targett cross at the start of eventful first 45 minutes for the Scotsman.

At the other end, Wood passed up an equally inviting opening when a better connection on an Erik Pieters’ cross would surely have brought the striker a headed goal.

Heaton Wood.jpg

And both sides then struck the woodwork within the space of a minute in a feisty encounter, Hourihane curling an effort against the post following a short free-kick and then Dwight McNeil clipping the top of the crossbar with a superb set-piece of his own from 30 yards out.

The Clarets were very much in the hunt at that point but with Villa gradually turning up the heat it was the hosts who wrested control as they looked to add to the four points they had taken from their last two home games.

McGinn had an effort disallowed for off-side following the intervention of VAR which picked out Hourihane in an obvious off-side position as he delivered the decisive cross.

And even though the Clarets gained some respite with Jack Cork seeing a flicked attempt from an Ashley Westwood corner blocked on the line by Tyrone Mings, the momentum was increasingly with Villa.


That said, the hosts’ opening goal will have disappointed the Clarets, who were caught out on the break after a Matt Lowton cross had been cleared for Frederic Guilbert to race away and pick out El Ghazi, whose excellent run towards the near post was matched with the quality of the finish which he steered across Nick Pope and into the far corner.

El Ghazi then headed wide and Pope had to save from Jack Grealish as Dyche was happy to get his men in to try and re-group.

That saw Rodriguez introduced at the start of the second half in place of Cork - who suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the piece - and a re-shuffle towards a 4-3-3 formation to match the opposition.

Rodriguez Mings.jpg

And almost immediately the Clarets went close to equalizing as Ashley Barnes picked out Jeff Hendrick for an effort deflected over the bar via the outstretched leg of Mings.

With umpteen stoppages in the game – not least a lengthy delay for treatment to Wesley who went down as if out for the count after the ball caught the Villa striker in the face – Burnley found it hard to build up a real head of steam.

But their persistence paid off when Rodriguez headed the Clarets level in textbook fashion.

McNeil triggered the move from midfield and after Barnes and Pieters had put in the spadework out wide, Pieters delivered another pin-point cross which Rodriguez met with a powerful downward header to give Heaton no chance.

Rodriguez goal 3.jpg

On such a rumbustious afternoon that was never likely to be it, though, and two goals within not much more of a minute kept things on a knife edge.

Villa struck first when McGinn made amends for the one that got away with a composed far-post volley from an excellent delivery from substitute Trezeguet.

But the Villa fans in a capacity crowd had barely stopped celebrating when Burnley equalised for a second time through Wood.

Villa old boy Lowton was the provider this time, released by Wood to swing in a lovely ball which the striker met on the run with another powerful header to make it three goals in two games.

Wood goal 3.jpg

No-one in the Premier League has scored more headed goals than Wood since the start of last season.

And his eighth such contribution brought a fitting reward as the Clarets then saw out seven minutes of added time to continue their forward momentum.

Aston Villa: Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett (Taylor 62); McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; El Ghazi (Trezeguet 70), Wesley (Davis 88), Grealish. Substitutes: Steer, Taylor, Luiz, Ngoyo, Jota.

Booked: Trezeguet

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork (Rodriguez HT), McNeil; Wood, Barnes (Brady 83). Substitutes: Hart, Gudmundsson, Gibson, Lennon, Bardsley.

Booked: Barnes, Tarkowski, Westwood, Rodriguez.

Referee: Lee Mason

Attendance: 41,456 (2,789)

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