Aston Villa v Barnsley preview - Villa's winless run set to continue

Defeats are becoming the norm for Aston Villa these days, a stark reminder of their struggles last season although in a lower division.

Aston Villa v Barnsley preview - Villa's winless run set to continue

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Whilst Aston Villa are pretty hot at home this season, they have been struggling with home-sickness away from Villa Park, a shame really given that all but one of their five outings this month have been on the road. This has been enough to send Steve Bruce's men further towards the dreaded relegation zone, a place that Villa fans should be used to, but not at this level perhaps.

Ok so seven points remain between the West Midlands side and the bottom three but this is certainly not where the club expected to be at this stage of the season. Perhaps a fight for the play-offs was a tad optimistic despite many at the club believing that this was actually achievable, however a couple more defeats and Villa could conceivably find themselves staring League One very much in the face.

Things aren't quite so bad at Barnsley. The Tykes have actually been pretty good if far from remarkable this season, quietly plodding along as they have been in the middle of the table. A win here and there, a few draws with the odd defeat thrown in and a place not too far from the play-off places. Not too bad really for a side which weren't expected to feature amongst any of the promotion contenders. This is exactly where they find themselves however, just six points adrift of the top six. A win on Tuesday at Villa Park could lift them even closer. Perhaps the clubs above Barnsley in the Championship table haven't actually noticed them creeping slowly up the table. They should pay a bit more attention.

Nevertheless, should the Tykes possess any promotion ambitions then they really do need to get things back on track. A 3-1 defeat at home to Wolves and two subsequent 0-0 draws have done little to help their cause and a trip to Villa Park is certain to test them to the limit. Nevertheless Paul Heckingbottom will be starting to believe that his side can close the gap on the play-off places and will be demanding nothing less than a top-level performance against a Villa side which appear to be there for the taking. Barnsley might not win but we certainly don't think they'll lose.

Our tip:Back Barnsley/Draw on Double Chance market at Evens with Bet365