Will this be yet another one of those boring games between two sides struggling at the bottom of the table? Certainly the visitors have been involved in their fair share of those already this season.
Stoke City did well two weeks ago by beating Chelsea and pushing themselves up the league, but they have just been too inconsistent to break out of that bottom part of the league and although 13th now, they are only a couple of bad results away from the relegation zone.
Midweek Stoke lost to Manchester United in the Capital One Cup, but the loss to them was more than exiting the competition. Captain Ryan Shawcross limped out of the game that day and will be missing when Aston Villa visit Saturday. Add to that the already missing Robert Huth and the Villa forwards Christian Benteke, Libor Kozak and Gabriel Agbonlahor may be licking their lips at the prospect of easy pickings.
Paul Lambert, the Villa boss, has his own issues, though, with injury going into this game and the recent history between the two clubs do not bode well–four tied games from the last five. With a point more two places higher than their hosts, another boring 0-0 wouldn’t be all that bad for Villa.
Certainly with their last two games ending in defeat, Aston Villa will be looking to stop that trend as soon as they can and start getting points on the board. Anything other than a win for Hughes, though, and questions just might start getting asked.