Preston – Villa; Bring it on!

I’ve just read an interesting stat that says today’s game will be the first we’ve played against a lower half of the table team in nearly two months.
If that’s so, it just confirms my thinking that we’ve done pretty well recently.

It seems today’s game is about injuries as much as anything, with the Villa having four players, in Jack Grealish, Axel Tuanzebe, Neil Taylor and Henri Lansbury all out. Callum O’Hare is also expected to be unavailable.
That said, given that two of those were very unlikely to feature anyway, I don’t think that’s too bad.
While it shows how important Grealish and Tuanzebe are for us, I’d hardly call it a crisis, as our injury list seems to be being portrayed.

If you disagree with that, fair enough, but my point is that we’ve done ok without them.
To put things in perspective, Preston will be missing nine senior players, with Ben Davies, Callum Robinson, Brandon Barker, Sean Maguire, Josh Harrop and Billy Bodin and more, all unavailable.
That list definitely seems to have affected their form and they’ve struggled recently, with 2 wins, a draw and 3 defeats (including 2 at home) in their last six.
One of those wins was away to Forest, but it seems the Reds are on the verge of sacking Karanka, so that’s probably not saying much.

Which all in all, while I hate to count my chickens, makes this look like a definite win for us.
Of course you never know, but 3 points is the logical outcome and I just think that with our attack, we’ll just have too much for them to handle.
That’s becoming a bit of a re-curring theme lately, but I don’t care.
It makes a pleasant change to be on a roll of optimism.

Plus this is exactly the sort of game we have to win if we’re to prove our promotion credentials.

A prediction then and I think we’ll score more than 1.
2-1 to us, but I’ll take any win.

74 Comments

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  1. nath December 29, 2018 at 11:52 am .

    injuries happen and its unfortunate, but dealing with your injuries is something the management have to deal with in every club and all levels. we have coped really well and smith doesn’t make a big deal about it which is a good sign. players who benefit come in and its down to them to step up and make it hard to be dropped. Hourihane has done well moving into Grealish position and whelen done all right as the holding position, Bree did ok in last one at cb he looked composed on the ball and reads the game well.

    didn’t know how bad Preston injury list was or i would have put us on my coupon. we have had a really hard run off fixtures and done well in them. but today we need to bag three points to cement the hard work we done in the harder games.

    the top three are getting away from the pack, its important we keep them close for the squeaky bums times in springtime

    2 1 villa

  2. Pat 57 December 29, 2018 at 11:55 am .

    I’m similarly optimistic but I think it could be another 0-1 win.

    Last game of the year and I agree with you Badger, we’ve come through a hard series of fixtures and we’re still there or thereabouts.

    With some new recruits hopefully joining us shortly we can only improve further.

    Here’s hoping that it’s a Happy New Year for all Villa supporters.

  3. Hitchens60 December 29, 2018 at 12:26 pm .

    If we have serious ambitions over promotion (surely we do?) then we have to win games like this. PNE are struggling with injuries and Robinson in particular turned us over at VP when he came on second half.

    Beware the wounded bear but we should have too much for them – have to go for a Villa win but then the ones we expect to win………

  4. Sidforever December 29, 2018 at 1:00 pm .

    Optimistic- not sure for this one. Far too often we have played lower standing teams with their key players absent and made a hash of it. However, that was with our former manager. With Smith at the helm things are more positive.

    I see there appears to be momentum gathering about Radoja likely to sign for us. I see the logic with both Whelan and Jedinak coming towards the end of their contracts. I’ve never heard of him before, not that this matters. I think it is more about Villa’s statement of intent. With a new goalkeeper this could push spending to £9m this transfer window. This is way more than could have been expected in the summer. It appears we have found a way to limit the impact of FFP.

  5. Bill Pearson December 29, 2018 at 1:07 pm .

    It has to be a win doesnt it, Preston will be so disjointed with that many having to fill places in a team it looks good for us. Having made that statement nothing is curtain in football, go on then 2-1Villa. I hope youve got it right Badger.lol.

  6. Holte66 December 29, 2018 at 2:07 pm .

    My recent predictions have been based on pessimism caused by Grealish and Tuanzebe being out. Having drawn against Stoke, lost against Leeds and won against Swansea, I think we have improved during those games in coping without them. So for today’s game against Preston with their form and worse injury list than ourselves, surely we ‘should’ win! I will go for a 2-0 win. I’m as confident as I can be for an away game.

  7. Badger123 December 29, 2018 at 3:01 pm .

    AVTV comms just said Elphick HAS been recalled.

    1. Hitchens60 December 29, 2018 at 3:03 pm .

      Would have been a poor decision not to have recalled him. Think he might prosper under Smith.

    2. Bill Pearson December 29, 2018 at 3:07 pm .

      Think he needs to play a game or two to gel, , Westbrom 1 down against Sheffield Wed.

  8. Bill Pearson December 29, 2018 at 3:02 pm .

    Elf is back then, just said on Sky sports ready for Tuesday’s game.

  9. Bill Pearson December 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm .

    Pip me on that then Badger, you on a tv me on Sky.

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