Aston Villa v Middlesbrough

15-03-2019 14:03

Tammy Abraham has only failed to score in three of Villa’s 18 home league games – and he netted in the 3-0 win at Middlesbrough on 1 December
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Aston Villa may be unchanged as they seek a fourth straight league win by completing a double over Middlesbrough.

Boss Dean Smith has no new injury concerns as Villa look to repeat their 3-0 win at the Riverside in December.

Boro are still awaiting the outcome of their appeal against Daniel Ayala’s red card in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Preston.

Ayala would start a four-game ban if the appeal proves unsuccessful for Tony Pulis’s side, who are winless in their last three games.

Boro are fifth in the table, four points and three places better off than Villa, who have crept within two points of the play-off places.

Villa have scored eight goals in their last three games – and conceded just once – in beating Derby County and Birmingham City and then coming from behind to defeat Nottingham Forest in midweek.

Match stats

  • Aston Villa are looking to complete a first league double over Middlesbrough since the 2002-03 season.
  • Including last season’s two play-off matches, settled by a single first-leg header from Mile Jedinak, Boro have failed to score in five consecutive league matches against Villa.
  • Villa have so far won all their three matches in March – as many as they won in December, January and February combined in all competitions.
  • Boro striker Ashley Fletcher has scored three goals in his last four Championship appearances – as many as in his previous 55 league games combined.
  • Tammy Abraham has scored just once in Villa’s last six games – the 21-goal top scorer’s worst run since signing in August.
  • Since the start of the 2016-17 season, only Pablo Hernandez (27) has assisted more Championship goals than Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane (26).
  • After losing just two of their previous 110 Championship games after scoring the first goal, Boro have now lost two successive Championship matches after netting the first.