Premier League Preview: Aston Villa v Cardiff City
By Football News
Cardiff City head to Aston Villa on Saturday hoping to build on the feel-good factor generated by their win over Swansea City last weekend.
Steven Caulker headed a second-half winner against his former club to ensure victory in the first top-flight South Wales derby, and manager Malky Mackay will be eyeing back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
Cardiff meet a Villa side who have not won - or scored - in their last four matches, leaving them a point behind their visitors in the Premier League table.
The teams last met in a League Cup third-round clash in September 2009, when a third-minute Gabriel Agbonlahor strike sealed a 1-0 triumph for Villa over the then Championship outfit.
The only Cardiff player still at the club who started that day is former Villa man Peter Whittingham, who made 66 appearances in all competitions for the Villa Park outfit before heading to the Welsh capital.
Paul Lambert's men have endured a mixed start to the season, one of the highlights of which was a 3-2 home victory over Manchester City on September 28.
However, they have embarked on a worrying barren spell since that memorable clash, which remains their only win of the campaign on home soil.
That said, Lambert has had to cope with one of the division's longer injury lists in recent weeks, with Andreas Weimann (hamstring), Antonio Luna (hamstring) and Joe Bennett (back) unlikely to feature this weekend.
Gary Gardner (back), Jores Okore (knee) and Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles) are long-term absentees, while Agbonlahor (ankle) remains a doubt.
In better news for Villa, Fabian Delph is likely to return to the fold after missing last weekend's goalless draw with West Ham through illness.
"He had a bug on Thursday and Friday so that was a blow to see him miss the game at Upton Park," Lambert explained.
"He pulled out of training on Thursday. He came in on Friday but he still didn't look the greatest so we sent him home.
"There's been a bug going around. Ciaran (Clark) had it the other week, so hopefully Fabian will be alright for the next game."
Danish striker Andreas Cornelius (ankle) looks set to be Cardiff's only absentee, but defender Ben Turner is relishing the prospect of a return to his native Birmingham
"We're looking forward to going to Villa Park on Saturday now for another big game," he told the club's official website.
"I've got quite a lot of family and friends coming to that one as I'm from Birmingham originally, so they'll be hoping we win the game too."