6 Reasons to Explain Aston Villa's Upswing in Form During Recent Weeks

After a slow start, Aston Villa's season is finally up and running.

 

The Villans picked up just one point from their opening three games and only won a single match in their first seven Championship fixtures.

 

Yet, four consecutive wins have changed the mood around Villa Park, and the Midlands club now find themselves in seventh place and are unbeaten in their last eight league games.

 

Here are six factors which have led to Villa's impressive form over the past few weeks.

1. Settled Team

Steve Bruce has selected the same starting XI in each of Villa's last four league matches, and incidentally, the team have won each of those games.

 

In the opening weeks of the season, Bruce often chopped and changed his first team, leading to mixed results.

 

However, in a settled team players begin to understand how their teammates play and more often than not, results in success.

2. Formation

Not only did Bruce rotate players in the opening weeks, he also regularly changed the team's shape.

 

The 56-year-old has tried 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 systems, but seems to have finally settled on a traditional 4-4-2 formation.

 

Each player in the Villa starting XI appears to have fully bought into their manager's philosophy, and are fully aware of how Bruce wants them to operate.

3. Defensive Discipline

With a settled team and shape, suddenly the defence is starting to stabilise.

 

Villa conceded eight in their opening four league games, yet impressively, have only surrendered a single goal in the last six Championship fixtures.

 

Key to the new defensive resolve are centre-backs John Terry and James Chester, who are forming one of the strongest partnerships in the league.

4. The Return of Jonathan Kodjia

Villa were struggling both defensively and offensively in the opening weeks of the season. Yet, the return of Jonathan Kodjia has breathed new life into the team.

 

The Ivory Coast international missed the opening six league games of the season with an ankle injury, and returned to the Villa side during the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough last month.

 

Kodjia has since started the next four league games, which Villa have unsurprisingly won all of. 

 

The striker's ability to score and create goals has already proved vital since returning to the side, and the Villans have scored ten goals from the four games he has started.

5. Individual Performances

Kodjia wasn't the only Villan who had a superb month in September.

 

A number of key players such as Robert Snodgrass, Conor Hourihane, Albert Adomah and Kienan Davis are all in fantastic form.

 

In particular, Sam Johnstone has been outstanding in recent weeks, and was nominated for Championship Player of the Month.

6. Away Performances

Villa have struggled on the road in recent years and won just four away games in the league last season.

 

However, the Villans managed to pick up maximum points from their two games away from home in September.

 

Even more impressively, Bruce's side registered seven goals from those matches.

Analysing the reasons why Villa's form has taken a dramatic upturn in recent weeks.

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