Well, they all are, aren’t they?
The fact is that if you want to get promoted, you have to win the majority of your games. It’s as simple as that
Which I suppose makes this one rather interesting, as their record this season only differs from ours because of a draw instead of a win, hence we’re two points ahead of them.
Given that they have home advantage tonight, I guess that kind of equals things out and you could say our records are very similar indeed.
There is a fair old difference though, when it comes to current form. Of the last six games, we’ve taken 13 points from 18, whereas Preston have only taken 6, including two losses in their last two games. They’ve also only won one of their last five.
Advantage Villa then, you would think.
Except we’re away, which is an area that we still need to improve on.
In squad news, it’s the same old, same old, on our part, except it’s looking like Kodjia won’t make it.
As for Preston, they have major problems in defence, where the last I heard their first three choices as centre backs are all out.
Ben Davies is out due to having his appendix removed, Tommy Spurr because of a knee injury and Paul Huntington is out because of the totting-up procedure.
Which all in all, seems even better news for Villa and you would think it’s a great chance for us to beat them, if we take the game to them.
While Kodjia’s important to us, he hasn’t been scoring, so his loss is not the end of the world, for me.
But we’re dealing with Steve Bruce here, where I predict we’re going to be moaning that we didn’t get on the front foot enough.
That’s what you get with Bruce and we all know it.
So, if Kodjia’s out, how will Bruce play this up front?
Davis has to come back in, but do you put him up on his own?
I suspect Bruce might see it as too much responsibility on his young shoulders, although I’d like to see it.
You could play him with Onomah just behind.
Or how about Davis and Hogan? That might work well against a weakened defence.
But I suspect Bruce might play him in the middle of a front three.
We’ll see, no doubt.
Not that it matters massively, in my opinion.
I think the biggest thing stopping us from winning this game will be Steve Bruce himself, with his pragmatic approach.
I think this is a game we ought to be looking to win; an opportunity to take points from a serious competitor on their own turf.
Exactly the sort of result we need, if we have real aspirations of getting promoted.
Will we get it?
My money says no.
1-1, in what will probably be yet another poor spectacle.
Which would be a decent point on the face of it.
But an opportunity missed.
Let’s hope I’m wrong, eh?