Villa at home on Monday evening. For the second home game in a row we face a team who have offloaded their manager since their last Premier League fixture. The run up to our game against Liverpool was dominated by the media’s lascivious fawning over Jürgen Klopp whilst the sound of Brendan Rodgers screaming from the ejector seat faded into the distance. This time round it’s Gobshite Tim who is drowning not waving whilst as I type, no permanent successor has been foolish enough to take Randy Lerner’s shilling. Sherwood was given the push last weekend after Villa’s home defeat to Swansea, a final nail in his coffin following no good results since erm… the opening day win at Bournemouth. Ah well, never mind.
I can’t remember the last time we played on a Monday night at home, we’re far more used to kicking off the round of games on a Saturday lunchtime than turning up at its rump when the working week is already underway. It’ll be a novel feeling. One thing we do know is that a win will see us move above West Ham and into our most predicted finishing spot; fifth. It feels comfortable there, as though it’s a park bench with a small plaque on it dedicating its position to the memory of BMJ, Harry, AVB and now Pochettino.
Talking of our incumbent coach, the return of Ryan Mason to fitness means that he has options for a change. The chances are that he’ll stick with the same eleven that took advantage of the Cherries’ incompetence last Sunday and keep Mason for Thursday & Anderlecht, however given that Lamela and Alli are both on four yellow cards he will give consideration to giving one of them a rest to make sure that they’re available for the game at the Haemorrhoids next Sunday.
Villa’s main danger will come in the form of Rudi Gestede. Our defensive record has been great thus far this season but we are vulnerable in the air and Gestede is one of the bravest and best in that department. There’s not a whole lot else we need to worry about though – we should win, any other result will be extremely disappointing.
Mike Dean is the ref. COYS.
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