Aston Villa urged to prioritise points over feuds in Brentford rematch

Unai Emery
Unai Emery / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has called for his players to prioritise the upcoming Premier League match against Brentford, rather than dwelling on the controversial events of their previous encounter in December.

The last meeting between Aston Villa and Brentford was marked by heated exchanges and disciplinary issues. Both teams had a player sent off, and a total of 10 yellow cards were issued throughout the match. As a result, the FA imposed fines totalling £355,000 on the clubs for their failure to control their players' behaviour.

Despite the lingering tensions, Emery has made it clear that his team must concentrate on executing their game plan and securing a vital win in their pursuit of a top-four finish. Currently, Villa sits fourth in the Premier League table with 59 points, while Brentford is in 15th place with 28 points.

Emiliano Martinez, Boubacar Kamara
Brentford FC v Aston Villa - Premier League / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Both Aston Villa and Brentford will be missing key players due to injury. Brentford's defensive line will be depleted, with Ethan Pinnock, Rico Henry, Ben Mee, and Aaron Hickey all unavailable. Similarly, Villa will be without midfielder Jacob Ramsey for the remainder of the season, while Boubacar Kamara, Tyrone Mings, and Emi Buendia are also long-term absentees.

In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Aston Villa staged an impressive comeback to win 1-2 at Brentford after the Bees had Ben Mee sent off. Keane Lewis-Potter had given Brentford the lead, but Villa fought back with goals from Alex Moreno and Ollie Watkins to secure the victory.

Unai Emery's influence has been instrumental in Aston Villa's remarkable form lately. The club won 25 Premier League matches in 2023, setting a new record for the highest number of top-flight victories in a single calendar year in the club's history. This achievement highlights the progress made under Emery's guidance.

While Villa has been in excellent form, Brentford's propensity to drop points from winning positions could prove to be their downfall. The Bees have lost a league-high 28 points this season after taking the lead, suggesting a vulnerability that Villa may look to exploit.

As Aston Villa and Brentford prepare to face each other once more, Unai Emery's message to his players is unambiguous: focus on the football, not the feuds. With a top-four finish at stake, Villa cannot afford to let their emotions cloud their judgement.

The upcoming match is likely to be a tense and closely-fought affair, but if Emery's men can maintain their composure and stick to their game plan, they have a strong chance of emerging victorious.