Ryan Bertrand has warned Villa could be in for their toughest test of the end-of-season run-in - despite Fulham's lowly league position.
The Cottagers are currently rooted to the bottom of the table but Bertrand believes coming up against them at the business end of the campaign will be as tough as facing one of the Barclays Premier League's title contenders.
The on-loan full-back knows Villa are in for a battle at Villa Park on Saturday with Felix Magath's team scrapping for every point.
And he reckons getting the basics right is an important factor if the claret and blues are to break down the top-flight's basement club.
"The emphasis on not getting relegated is far greater," said Bertrand.
"Obviously they have been struggling but that can be a double edged sword.
"If we are at it, win the first and second balls and get the basics right from the start of the game, then hopefully we can go on and get the points.
"But also you've got to be aware that they are fighting for their lives as well.
"They are going to be really up for it and in our faces and they are not going to go down easily."
German boss Magath is known for demanding high fitness levels from his players, so Bertrand expects an energetic approach from the visitors.
"If they are usually fit and full of energy so in a relegation battle you can double that, so we have to make sure we start well," he added.
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