BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Karim El Ahmadi of Aston Villa challenges Marouane Fellaini of Everton during the Barclays Premier league match between Aston Villa and Everton at Villa Park on August 25, 2012 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
OVERALL: 0-1-2, -3 GD
LAST 5: DLL- - -
STARTING XI: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar [c], Clark, Lichaj, Holman, El Ahmadi, Ireland, Bannan, Weimann, Bent.
SUBS: Given, Bowery, Agbonlahor, N'Zogbia, Benteke, Westwood, Bennett.
OVERALL: 2-1-0, +8 GD
LAST 5: DWW - -
STARTING XI: Vorm, Rangel, Tate, Williams, Davies, Britton, DeGuzman, Michu, Routledge, Dyer, Graham.
SUBS: Pablo, Shechter, Moore, Ki, Agustien, Richards, Tremmel.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
- Aston Villa probably isn't winning the possession battle in this game, but that's not the worst thing in the world. It's far more important to see how they deal with Swansea's style of play; high-pressure on defense, or sit back and soak up the pressure? Stick with the same strategy we've seen thus far in terms of the passing game, or try to hit quickly on the counter? Paul Lambert is know for being tactically flexible, and it will be interesting to see what he does here.
- Swansea has some pretty serious injury concerns along the back; can Villa take advantage of a weakened opposition defense?
- We should get our first hint at what Lambert is expecting from the new signings today. Whether they were brought in as starters or depth has been something of an open question, but now we'll have some evidence.