This honestly feels like the most important preview i’ve written to date. The magnitude of this game can not be played down as it certainly will define our relegation status, i’m just grateful it’s on our turf under our terms.
Going into this game I feel like we are about to play a local derby at a Wembley final, thats how much is riding on this. We are coming into this game off the back of a 3:1 defeat to Man U, which if truth be told, we looked like we had no attack what so ever and at the polar opposite end, QPR who dominated the Albion with a display that could easily have gotten them more goals. Are we prepared for this?
We need to come into this game with a high tempo and finish on a high tempo because if we don’t do it, you can bet QPR will. My biggest concern is not our defence, it is our attacking force. I may get slated for this but I don’t think we should start with Benteke. I feel like he has been sussed out by everyone and because his confidence is that low, he hasn’t got it in himself to push that extra mile. The bad news about this is that we don’t really have anybody else to replace him and with this being such a big game, he will get the start but he really isn’t even half the player before the injury; I hope he can change this with a sublime performance and make me eat my hat.
With N’zogbia having a woeful game against United, who will replace him, Gil? Sherwood has opened up about Gil stating that he may be great individually but he chooses the team that will win the game on the day. I think we will see Gil make a show in this game. There is a lot to prove, places to be won and opinions to be changed. I was a massive fan of Gil before Sherwood and my opinion hasn’t changed. He was a breath of fresh air with good movement, passing, awareness and he could score. He has all the attributes to be a Holte end hero, he just needs the play time.
It really will be a tough game with goals from both sides, but who has got what it takes for all 3 points? If we lose this game, I honestly believe we can say goodbye to the premier league. A draw would not be the end of the world and a win is exactly what we all need. If the past is an indicator, we will survive the drop but Aston Villa are a strange team as they seem to only show up when they want to.