Johnstone to make it 7/8: Three things to expect from Aston Villa against QPR
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Aston Villa host Queens Park Rangers at Villa Park on Tuesday night in their next Championship encounter.
Steve Bruce’s side have been in fine form of late, winning six of their last seven matches in the competition, while QPR have also been on a promising run.
But with Aston Villa determined to continue their late surge towards the play-offs, Football Insider reveals three things we can expect from the home side on Tuesday.
Seven clean sheets from eight games
One of Aston Villa’s most impressive statistics throughout their recent golden run of form has been their ability to keep clean sheets – six from their last seven games.
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For much of the season, Villa were punished for their poor defensive record, but they have recently proven much more secure at the back.
In each of their last six league victories, Aston Villa have registered a clean sheet.
Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has grown in confidence after a shaky start to his loan spell, while the likes of James Chester and Alan Hutton have been key members of the back four.
QPR, meanwhile, have failed to find the back of the net in their last two away games, and that will also work in Aston Villa’s favour.
Kodjia to score
Unsurprisingly, if there is a man in the Aston Villa camp expected to register on the scoresheet, it is Jonathan Kodjia.
The 27-year-old has singlehandedly held the goalscoring mantle this season, netting 17 goals from 35 appearances.
He scored both goals as Aston Villa overcame Norwich last time out, and QPR will find it difficult to contain a player in such red hot form on Tuesday.
Whether it be with his head, his boot, or his knee for that matter, Kodjia is sure to find the back of the net.
Bruce to leave his options open
The Aston Villa chief likes to keep his players fit by making all three of his permitted changes in games, but he often waits until late to make the changes.
Given Villa’s recent form, there has been little need for Bruce to tinker with his starting eleven, but he will always keep at least one change up his sleeve in case things turn sour.
From their last five Championship fixtures, seven of their 14 substitutions have come between the 80th and 90th minute.
Four of the remaining seven changes have been forced upon because of early injuries, but it is evident that Bruce likes to keep his options open and not waste his substitutions too early.
In other Aston Villa news, here is how Aston Villa are expected to line up against QPR.