Aston Villa could be at a disadvantage in their huge promotion clash with Middlesbrough tomorrow after journalist Matt Maher revealed a startling statistic.
He’s tweeted that there’s been no home winner in clashes between the two sides since the 2004/05 season. That’s a run stretching back 14 encounters, spanning both the Premier League, EFL Cup and the Championship.
It even includes five meetings last season, two in the league, one in the EFL Cup and twice in the play-offs. In those encounters, not only did the home side fail to win, we didn’t even see a home goal. In 450 minutes of football, just four goals were scored, one of which was a penalty.
You have to go back to 2009 for the last goal scored by the home side in this clash, Tuncay bagging a 14th minute opener as the two sides drew 1-1 on the final day of the season.
The last home win, 14 years ago, went to Aston Villa as they won 2-0 against a Boro side with Bolo Zenden, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and current England boss Gareth Southgate in the side.
Statistics and history mean very little. Sure, they give us something to write about and compare to, but the only game that counts is tomorrow.
I can’t see Villa not winning. Sure, Middlesbrough can be resilient but of late, Dean Smith’s side have been exciting and vibrant.
If they do win, the cat is firmly amongst the play-off pigeons.