After last weekendâ€™s Sunday roast itâ€™s the Midlands delicacy of faggots and peas at teatime this Saturday as we head to Villa Park for a 5:30pm kick off.Â All the people who wouldnâ€™t let themselves get carried away after the Wigan result and tempered all celebrations with â€œWeâ€™ll see against Villa next weekâ€ type comments will find out by half past seven whether their poorly disguised wish to express a curmudgeonly â€œI told you soâ€ gets an airing or not.
Marchâ€™s 2-1 win at the same venue was arguably our best away performance of last season as we dominated the home team once Zokora had been withdrawn after about twenty minutes and Corluka was brought on to look after Ashley Young. That was the game where the Villa fans developed a well publicised boos problem, letting Gabby Agbonlahor know exactly what they thought of him when he was subbed.Â
Villa were high flying then and are doing pretty well this year after a slow start but they have peppered some good results, winning at Anfield and beating Chelsea, with some not so good ones, losing at West Ham and Blackburn.
Young again will be a threat and together with Agbonlahor they have the sort of pace that embarrassed our defence in the game against Sunderland. â€˜Never change a 9-1 winning teamâ€™ is the motto but if Bassong is ready to play then Redknapp may split Dawson and Woodgate with the former the most likely to miss out. Only injury could force a change in midfield but up front is a different matter. Harryâ€™s public bigging up of Robbie this week suggests that he could return to the side in place of Crouch now that the Irish Question has been answered.
Our lucky ref is in charge, Phil Dowd getting the opportunity to watch us in person for the fourth time this season. Dowd reffed us against Liverpool, Preston and Portsmouth, all games we won. â€˜Luckyâ€™ may be an epithet that Jermain Defoe disagrees with, he was sent off at Pompey.Â
Things have been pretty even between Villa and over ourselves over the past few years with 3 wins and 4 draws in the last ten games. If we get enough possession to put their back four under pressure we should fancy our chances of at least a draw in this one.
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