Pressure on for Villa

By Tom Vickers
Last updated : 29 November 2008
Villa will aim to cement their place in the top four as Fulham visit the Midlands.
The Cottagers have yet to beat the Claret and Blue at Villa Park in the Premier League and the home fans will hope that run continues.
With Arsenal playing at Chelsea on Sunday, Villa have the chance to go four points clear of the Gunners. And they would move into third with a win as Manchester United also play a day later.
John Carew may return for the home side, but he faces a fight to get back into a side which claimed four points against Arsenal and United in the last two outings.
Villa played brilliantly when the pressure was off but they face a tough challenge against Roy Hodgson's Fulham who claimed a point at Liverpool last time out.
They may have the joint worst away record in the Premiership with Stoke City, but Andrew Johnson and co pose a potent threat.
They are creative in midfield with players like Zoltan Gera and Jimmy Bullard providing the ammunition for former Blues man Johnson and Bobby Zamora.
Villa will undoubtedly have to be aware of the counter attack but the home side know they have enough quality to beat the West Londoners.
Martin Laursen has been quoted this week as saying that Villa must win when the emphasis is on them to attack and they must prove that they are able to cope with expectation.
It's a big opportunity for Villa to put pressure on the big four, but will they take it?

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