Statistic doing little to aid the cause of shot-shy Aston Villa

Aston Villa's lack of firepower this season has been well documented, but one statistic in particular has done little to aid their cause.

Aston Villa have found the target just 11 times in 22 Premier League fixtures this season.

Their struggles in front of goal have been well documented and have seen pressure mount on boss Paul Lambert – with Villa unable to drag themselves clear of the top-flight basement battle.

Part of the problem appears to be that they are not getting any ‘freebies’.

They will feel that they have enough quality at their disposal to run through opponents and trouble the scorers in open play, but a few easy efforts would be most welcome.

Penalties provide the best opportunity to hit the back of the net without the hassle of having to carve open space.

Villa have, however, gone an alarming amount of time without winning a spot-kick.

In fact, it is 12 months to the day since they last lined up the ball from 12 yards out.

On 29th January 2014, Paul Lambert’s men edged a thrilling derby date with West Bromwich Albion 4-3 at Villa Park.

Christian Benteke converted from the spot that day, but no-one has been given the chance to emulate that achievement in 37 games since.

Why are Villa struggling to win penalties?

Are Lambert’s men too nice? Have there been opportunities to go down that have been passed up? Is it purely down to a lack of firepower and not getting into the box often enough?

Whatever the reason, they will hope to see their fortunes change over the remainder of the campaign.

They are not the only side to have drawn a blank on that front this season, with Manchester United also waiting to open their penalty account.

The Red Devils have, however, been able to get the job done in other ways.

Villa need to follow that lead, while they will also be hoping that the likes of new arrival Carles Gil – a tricky playmaker capable of drawing a reckless challenge – can get them back on the spot in the not too distant future.

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