Norwich – Villa; A tough one.

The good and bad news is I’m back home.
The bad of course, was walking into 8C at 3AM in the morning.
On the other hand, it does mean that I’ll be able to watch the game tonight.

And it’s not an ideal one, with us facing a Norwich side that has only lost one in ten games, so soon after Saturday’s game.
The good news is that their solitary defeat was at home, against Stoke, just before the international break.
Hence they’re certainly not unbeatable, even on their own turf.

The bad news for us, is that Jon McGinn is suspended after incurring 5 yellow cards.
I think he’s a fabulous player, who we’re bound to miss in the middle, but we do have Conor Hourihane who can do equally well on his day and I’d expect him to come in as the replacement.

Talking of personnel changes, with the games coming so thick and fast this week, I think I’d be expecting Dean Smith to change things up anyway, purely to give some of the players a breather.
Even I’m not so old-fashioned that I’d expect players to be able to play three games in a week.
Also Smith can get a look at some more of the squad in an actual game.

As per usual, we don’t have many options at the back, but in the middle, the manager might want to have a look at El Ghazi and perhaps a better look at Bolasie. We definitely have good options for width.
I’d expect Grealish and Abraham to be certs, but you never know.
I just wonder if Smith might be looking at the QPR game on Friday, as a more likely chance of a win?
Maybe not, as he goes out to win every game, doesn’t he?

Still, while I’m sure he’ll go for it, you’d also expect that he has to be pragmatic too and it’ll be interesting to see if Bjarnason is retained, along with either Whelan or Jedinak, just to help cover the defence.
Again, maybe not as for me playing 2 holding midfielders means you lose something in the attack and I’m sure this is where Smith will be concentrating.

I’d be looking at a 4-1-3-1-1, myself, or something not too dissimilar.
You could put Abraham up top and allow Jack to play a free role. Bjarnason anchors the midfield, with Hourihane further forward to assist with the press. And then it’s any two wingers.

But what do I know?
I’m only putting that out there as I hardly ever predict tactics, because I’m not a football manager.
It doesn’t matter what I think anyway, as I’m sure Dean Smith will know exactly what he plans to do.

One thing we can be sure of, is that if whatever the plan is, isn’t working, Smith will change things up.
He also won’t look to hold on to any 1-0 lead we might take either.
And that will be refreshing.

To be honest, I think this game might be a bit of a stretch for us, but I think I’d happily take a draw at this stage.
If we were to get the win, I’d be ecstatic and would seriously be thinking that we’re on our way already.

The realist in me though, is going for a 1-1 draw.

The game is available live on Sky or via AVTV for international plus subscribers.
Bring it on!


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  1. Avatar
    Hitchens60 October 23, 2018 at 9:15 pm .

    Another crap second half performance – running around like headless chickens. Nothing really ever changes.

    I’ve seen enough.

  2. Avatar
    badger123 October 23, 2018 at 9:16 pm .

    i can’t see a way back.
    Hogan’s just had his first touch, I think,

  3. Avatar
    DSVilla October 23, 2018 at 9:17 pm .

    Norwich much hungrier than Villa. On the front foot all the time and putting us under pressure. We need some of that in our side. We are looking a bit ragged.

  4. Avatar
    Adam October 23, 2018 at 9:17 pm .

    Dire 2nd half games gone. Looked so comfortable 1st half. Dont see us scoring without Abraham. Theyre passing is so much more crisp and forward than ours. Still early days and i do like the way Smith is trying to play football.

  5. Avatar
    badger123 October 23, 2018 at 9:23 pm .

    Kodjia on for Hourihane.
    I have to be honest, i stuggle to see what the latter does, his set pieces apart.

  6. Avatar
    badger123 October 23, 2018 at 9:25 pm .

    Down to 16th as things stand.

  7. Avatar
    badger123 October 23, 2018 at 9:27 pm .

    Norwich fully in control and i’m struggling to keep watching.
    It’s amazing that when you look at our squad, we look so,so poor at times.

  8. Avatar
    DSVilla October 23, 2018 at 9:27 pm .

    Tuanzebe is top class btw. Great pace and strength. He will get better with experience and be a top player.

  9. Avatar
    badger123 October 23, 2018 at 9:29 pm .

    Taylor, utter shit again.
    LB definitely top of the list, imo.

    1. Avatar
      DSVilla October 23, 2018 at 9:31 pm .

      Fraid so. Crossing is abysmal as well. Not just Taylor, Elmo, El Ghazi is anonymous

      1. Avatar
        badger123 October 23, 2018 at 9:36 pm .

        I always understood why Hutton played there, fwiw.
        Taylor is awful, as much as anyone might say he needs time.
        I seriously think i could fuck up as much as him.

  10. Avatar
    badger123 October 23, 2018 at 9:30 pm .

    Grealish awful free kick then.
    Sums us up.

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