Brighton – Villa; Is today the day we qualify?

I’m sure you already know, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s nothing like a prediction from me, but the simple facts are that if we beat Brighton and Liverpool beat Spurs, we will qualify for the champion’s league and finally hit the big time that we’ve longed for, for so many years.

Assuming Salah’s petulant discussion with Klopp was a one off and not a demonstrator of a manager that’s lost his dressing room, you would think the Reds would want to give a good showing as a send off for an excellent manager of the club. Whatever, I expect that particular game to be a really good one and fortunately it’s after our match meaning we can watch it with even more interest than usual.

First things first then and the squad news is that whereas I thought Martinez, Tielemens and Moreno would all be fine for this game, they were being assessed just before travelling. Mings, Buendia, Kamara and Ramsey remain out.

As for Brighton, they’re in pretty rough nick too, with Adam Lallana, James Milner, Jan Paul van Hecke, Tariq Lamptey, Pervis Estupinan, Jack Hinshelwood, Kaoru Mitoma, Solly March and Evan Ferguson all out.
The usual “who cares about them?” applies, but we do like to put it up there just for clarity.

There are some very interesting facts about the two teams and while I don’t normally go a bundle on past events, I want to mention them;

We have only lost one of our last seven Prem away games.
Albion’s most recent top-flight home victory against Villa was 1-0 in December 1980.
The Seagulls are winless in their last six matches in the Premier League and have won one of their previous nine, which was against Forest in March.
So things seem to bode well then.

Except there’s one big fly in the ointment.
Got a terrible record of late and need something to help get over it?
Easy. Play Aston Villa and they’ll soon sort that out for you.
Or at least that’s how it’s been for a very long time.
We’re a different and better team now, of course, but there’s always that nagging doubt that it will just go wrong, isn’t there?
Even though we’ve done superbly this season, it’s still not easy being a Villa fan. Well, for me, at least.

We could just be a few hours away from achieving what seemed to be totally unachievable when the scouse clown was in charge and how things have changed in such a short time.
To be honest, I’m not even sure if I’m ready to believe it if it does happen and I think I’ll need some time to fully get my head round it.

If I had to predict this game, I don’t think I could, because while I feel more confident than I did against Olympiacos, a win just feels like it would be too easy and straightforward and it never goes like that for us, does it? It was just typical that we lost to Arsenal on the day we won the league, for example. (Slight aside, but just think: we took 25,000 fans to that game. That’s nuts compared to today’s levels).

I’m extremely hopeful, let’s put it that way.



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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 6, 2024 at 9:47 pm . Reply

    I have got to say, if ManU keep Ten Bob after this result, and all the rest this season, then they have lost all self respect.
    Who would want to go to this sh1t show of a club? Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch!!!!
    And they are still meant to be the most valuable club on the planet? Talk about a corrupt system…

    1. BFR
      BFR May 6, 2024 at 10:21 pm . Reply

      Never mind that, Bum Bum, look at their shots and shots on target stats, and their forwards. We need to get over the line before going there as they’re likely to bludgeon us.

      Meanwhile, I hope Monchi is preparing a double bid for messrs Olise and Eze…

    2. 1874 was a good year
      1874 was a good year May 7, 2024 at 1:34 am . Reply

      Like BFR I hope that we’re not relying on winning our last game as Palace seem to have gotten their act together. I suppose that I should have been hoping that Man Ure won so that Palace wouldn’t be as confident when they played us but I was cheering every goal that went in. In the end, my hatred of Man Ure won over everything else. Schadenfreude is a wonderful word.
      Still think that we can get something next Monday against Pool but, if not, I’m hoping to see a rampant Man City dismantle Spurs on Tuesday. We deserve that fourth spot.

    3. BFR
      BFR May 7, 2024 at 10:23 am . Reply

      I find it staggering that Jonny Evans is still there. After Phil Jones’ endless stay. Their transfer policy is horrendous. What happened to their academy? Fergie provided them with the perfect model. Promote from the academy and ship senior players out BEFORE
      they pass their peak, replacing with younger, better models.
      Ah, who give a s***.

      1. BFR
        BFR May 7, 2024 at 10:27 am . Reply

        Player of the season? Watkins, surely?

  2. BFR
    BFR May 7, 2024 at 10:32 am . Reply

    I think Spurs will annihilate Burnley on Saturday, meaning the pressure will be on against Liverpool on Monday. I don’t see the City game as a forgone conclusion either. They have been a bogey team for City in recent times. And they are capable of getting a result on their day. We need a win from the last two games, in my opinion. Preferable on Monday!

    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum May 7, 2024 at 10:45 am . Reply

      Squeaky bum time, innit!!!! I’d be gutted if Spuds pipped us to 4th…

      1. BFR
        BFR May 7, 2024 at 10:54 am . Reply

        Me too, mate. There’s still work to be done. We’ll know by this time next week! I think Spuds will beat Burnley and we’ll lose to Liverpool. Which means we’ll need the pace-makers when watching City v Spurs next Tuesday! If that goes as we hope, it’ll be a nice relaxing final Sunday of the season. If not, as I fear, it’s gonna get ‘hairy’ at Selhurst Park! Because Spurs will beat Sheffield on final day. Villa have to assume Spurs will get 9 out of 9. If not, it’s asking for serious trouble! Spurs know it’s not over. I hope Villa do too!

  3. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 May 7, 2024 at 4:06 pm . Reply

    I’m also feeling like this season has one more grenade to chuck on the works.

    Villa look completely exhausted and I can quite see us losing the next three games. Liverpool at home and Palace away have not been the best games for us.

    Spuds should beat Burnley and ShefU and, if we lose both ours will probably overtake our GD advantage. If they draw with City and we lose to Liverpool it’s advantage Spuds.

    What’s going to be hard to take, should we lose 4th, is the media love- in with Spurs we’ll have to endure. As it is, even if we get 4th, it will still be all about Spuds!

    Wish I could find Bum Bum’s positivity.

    1. 1874 was a good year
      1874 was a good year May 7, 2024 at 4:50 pm . Reply

      TBH Spurs look just as knackered as we do and, having conceded 13 goals in their last four games, I can’t see any way that they won’t get a hammering from a title chasing Man City.
      Keep the faith.

  4. DSVilla
    DSVilla May 7, 2024 at 4:55 pm . Reply

    It’s very likely that City will need to beat Spurs to win the league. I expect them to do that which makes all the other results irrelevant.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 May 7, 2024 at 7:09 pm . Reply

      Like when we won the League in 81 – losing 2-0 at Arsenal but with Middlesbro’ helping us out.

      Doesn’t really matter how you win it!

      1. 1874 was a good year
        1874 was a good year May 8, 2024 at 12:11 am . Reply

        God bless Bozo Jankovic! I believe that Saunders sent him a case of champagne for scoring two goals against Ipswich in the last game of the season. However, I was there at Highbury and I’ll never forgive the mean Arsenal fans who ran onto the pitch so that our players couldn’t receive an ovation from their fans. Hated them ever since.

    2. BFR
      BFR May 7, 2024 at 7:53 pm . Reply

      Yes, but can’t take it for granted, DS. Especially with dodgy officials favouring London’s darlings.

  5. BFR
    BFR May 7, 2024 at 7:52 pm . Reply

    OK guys, bad news. Just seen it in The Telegraph. Thursday’s ref has previous for match fixing and taking bribes. He’s been criticised by the likes of Moyes, Bellingham, and Haaland since then in more recent times.
    I wouldn’t blame Unai for doing a MON and leaving the first team at home to rest up for Monday.
    Utter joke. We’ve got no chance. I don’t want the players wasting energy they will need for the final two league games. Pathetic from UEFA.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand May 7, 2024 at 10:07 pm . Reply

      Or we could slip him a few quid? 😁

      1. BFR
        BFR May 8, 2024 at 6:10 am . Reply

        Yeh, but I’m assuming someone’s already got to him…

    2. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 May 8, 2024 at 7:07 am . Reply

      BFR – I would say predictable rather than pathetic by EUFA.

      So a ref with a dodgy pedigree and an owner with the same – someone’s got rich in the process!

  6. BFR
    BFR May 8, 2024 at 11:12 am . Reply

    Watch this, guys: fascinating discussion to be had on how to go up against the ‘petrol clubs.’ The Villa Park debate isn’t going to go away.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand May 8, 2024 at 1:32 pm . Reply

      Amazing stadium to be fair.
      If you listen to the interview someone’s saying something along the lines of “there’s some kind of gig every night” so with that as a backdrop if you go back to the Villa statement…
      “We are excited to bring our expertise in supporting businesses in the leisure, sports, and live entertainment industries to elevate the Club to even greater heights.”
      I believe that tells you everything about the thinking and is Villa park suitable for ‘Live Entertainment Industries’?

  7. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson May 8, 2024 at 1:42 pm . Reply

    Dear oh dear Grealish in trouble again, on news just with a video of him reversing Range Rover into a car then driving it into a brick wall , find £600+ and that was in a car Parking place . Would we have him back ? Not on your Nellie .. the guy was pissed seeing that on camera.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand May 8, 2024 at 2:25 pm . Reply

      Could you see Unai standing for his antics?
      And we break with pace and for all his attributes as a player pace certainly ain’t one of them.

  8. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 May 8, 2024 at 6:39 pm . Reply

    Completely different direction.

    Does anyone know if we have an obligation to buy back Archer following Shef U’s relegation?

    I’m not sure we know anything more about him as a footballer as he seemed to be injured for quite a bit of the season – must be a Villa thing 🙂

    1. BFR
      BFR May 8, 2024 at 8:02 pm . Reply

      Yes we do. He will return at the end of the season.

  9. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 8, 2024 at 7:26 pm . Reply

    Nice to see Emi Buendia back in training with the regular first team!!!! Would be nice for him to play the last 15 minutes of the final game of the season when we’re 3-0 up at Selhurst Park 😁😁😁

  10. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 9, 2024 at 9:44 am . Reply

    Big game tonight, lads!

    Think we’ll do it? 3-1 to Villa. More penalties! We go through!!

    1. BFR
      BFR May 9, 2024 at 10:47 am . Reply

      Nope. Ref will make sure we get f.all, Bum Bum.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum May 9, 2024 at 11:33 am . Reply

        BFR, I’ve got a sneaky feeling about tonight…We’ve been a bit Jekyll & Hyde recently and I think this will be an unexpected Emirates type performance. Olympiakos aren’t invulnerable at home…
        On the other hand it could be a damp squib…508 minutes until Kick Off!!!

        1. BFR
          BFR May 9, 2024 at 11:37 am . Reply

          I had a sneaky feeling before Arsenal, Bum Bum. But not tonight, mate. The odds are way way stacked against. It wouldn’t be a near-miracle; it would be a miracle. I just can’t see it. A first-half goal for them and it’s curtains.

  11. Holte
    Holte May 9, 2024 at 12:09 pm . Reply

    I’m the same as you BFR. No Tielemans or Rogers! I still think Olsen might be in goal, although the playing out from the back is only good when drawing or winning a game. They don’t have to press us so the pissing around at the back will be pointless and wasting our time. We need to go for the jugular which isn’t our style. I think they are more likely to score first and probably win.
    Unfortunately we have suffered far too many injuries for our squad to cope with. Constant enforced changes has disrupted our momentum and the players left available running on fumes.

  12. 1874 was a good year
    1874 was a good year May 9, 2024 at 2:08 pm . Reply

    We have a chance, a slim one perhaps, but a chance. The first goal is everything, if we get it then then there will be just a goal in it. I think that Olympiakos might be a little nervous as they got stuffed 1-4 at home not too long ago by the mighty Maccabee Tel Aviv and even Fenerbahce scored two there.
    Pressure is off us in a way so I think they should just abandon any thoughts of a low block and just go for it. If we lose then we got to the semis which is no mean feat and good experience for next season in the CL (fingers crossed).

  13. Sidforever
    Sidforever May 9, 2024 at 5:13 pm . Reply

    Excellent interview between Chris Heck and Gabby. Heck categorically stated Villa will not be leaving Villa Park.

    The 15 minute interview is on the Villa app / website. It is a must listen! However, he is clear that improving the match day experience is critical raising more revenue. There will be multiple ways of raising revenue.

    I thought Heck came across really well and allayed many of the fears raised by contributors to this site.

    In the meantime I really hope we can do the impossible tonight.

  14. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum May 9, 2024 at 5:31 pm . Reply

    Apparently we’re in the driving seat for Olise. CL football, Emery, and the fact we aren’t ManU or Chelsea working in pur favour!

    150 minutes until KO!!! (That’s Kick off, not Knock Out!).

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