Cardiff v Villa stats: Albrighton tipped to provide ammunition
The Bluebirds will be hoping to win back-to-back home matches but that is something that they've failed to manage all season, so Villa will hope to ensure that they fail to do so once again. The visitors themselves, having lost at Everton in their last away match, have only suffered consecutive defeats on the road once in the current campaign.
Villa got the better of the Welsh outfit in the reverse fixture this season and have enjoyed the superior record in recent meetings between the two by some distance, winning seven of the last eight encounters. It's no secret that Paul Lambert's side have excelled away from home and having kept a clean sheet in the last two meetings between the teams they'll be aiming for their fifth of the current season on their travels.
While the goals have been hard to come by at Villa Park, the Villans have been clinical away from home thus far. Only Liverpool, Arsenal, United and City have a better conversion rate than Lambert's men on the road this season (11.3%), and the visitors will be confident of notching again on Tuesday.
Cardiff have conceded the highest number of headed goals in the Premier League thus far (9), which is an encouraging statistic for Villa's top scorer. Christian Benteke has netted more headed goals than any other player in the current campaign, with four.
If the Belgian is to add to that tally he'll certainly need good service into the box, and that much is something that Marc Albrighton is more than capable of. In an excellent substitute appearance at the weekend the winger, as well as thundering a long range drive against the post, created a number of chances as Villa looked for a way back into the game.
In fact, in just 34 minutes on the field he made five key passes, which was at least two more than any other player on the pitch over the course of the game. In that time he also attempted a remarkable 20 crosses, with only Robert Snodgrass (22) having made more in an entire match this season.
With six accurate, Albrighton provided the ammunition to inspire a second half surge from Villa and while he's had to wait for his chances this season, Lambert has been able to rely on the 24-year old to deliver. Indeed, of all players to have made more than five league appearances this season the Villa graduate has made a key pass the most often (every 20.2 minutes). He's also delivered an accurate cross more than twice as frequently as any player in the division (every 22.8 minutes), and if one man can profit from that sort of service it's Benteke.
If Albrighton's bright cameo against West Ham does earn him a start tonight, his link-up with Villa's star striker could be key to a positive result.
Find yet more statistics on Aston Villa and the rest of the Premier League, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings at WhoScored.com, who offer the largest online database for detailed football statistics. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @martinlaurence7 on Twitter.