Quick thoughts on tonight’s game

Apologies for the late post – any earlier and it would probably have been one long rant anyway.

I do have concerns tonight.

Is Targett available after going off injured on Wednesday? He put in an exceptional performance in defence and it showed just how well he had played when Taylor came on. In fact Targett has consistently defended well in recent games.

McGinn will be missing having picked up his 5th red card and a mandatory one match ban but Trezeguet comes back into the squad which is good news.

There have been a lot of calls for Barry to be included on the bench and if we’re not going to acquire a striker in this window, then it might not be a bad call, if only for experience. The issue I feel though is that he’s not currently training with the first team squad so it seems unlikely.

So, assuming Targett is fit, I can’t see Smith fiddling with the team too much. Trezeguet may come in for Traore or even for McGinn although I suspect Smith might keep faith with Ramsey.

Smith will be watching from the stands having picked up a one match touchline ban for telling Moss what a crap ref he is. Strange world when you get punished for telling the truth. I loved Smith’s comment – I’ve heard him (Moss) called a lot worse!

So prediction – Newcastle are on a terrible run of form but have been missing two of their key players through Long Covid although Saint-Maxim could be back and will add an attacking threat. Villa have only one one of the last 14 meetings with Newcastle and that in the same fixture last year.

Newcastle will be cautious as is Bruce’s want and look to counter attack on the break – something we seem peculiarly vulnerable to at home.

If we’re on our game and not too badly affected after Wednesday night, fitness wise, then it’s a game we should be looking to win.


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  1. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 24, 2021 at 12:28 am .

    Glad everyone thought it was a good game. It all just left me frustrated as I thought we missed a chance for another 7 goals.
    Think the Covid has buggered most of them……most looked slow and jaded……loads of misplaced passes and lots of times someone made a run in space the player on the ball ignored them…….worried the next 3 games will catch up with them. Good to have some new blood coming in that the league know nowt about. Maybe Grealish went off as they were maybe worried he might get booked or sent off…now that would have been disastrous.

  2. Avatar
    nath January 24, 2021 at 8:43 am .

    it cant be easy to not train for 19 days or train alone if you hadnt had the virus. i thought a few players looked leggy including grealish. i also think they are nothing like 100%, playing well within themselves. if you saw the reactions of grealish and barkley as they were being subbed you could see the frustrations at being subbed. maybe they were more frustrated with being unable to play their games as normally they set very high standards. the stray passing is so unlike us. i thought against city we allowed them too much ball and sat back to pace ourselves. against magpies we had more energy but we lacked the fluency passing and moving which we are so good at when breaking fast.

    don’t panic guys this will come with games its know as match fitness and they will only get stronger and fitter with matches played or minutes as each players are different. also with the mammoth amount of games squashed into 18 days, full fitness will be reached fast, hopefully nobody pulls nothing.

    onto the next game saints always impress me but i reckon they are much better away than at home. also we are much better team now too. the game earlier in season 4 3 one i thought they were magnificent and the score flattered us. but like i started off saying they are different at home should be a tough game and good exciting one.

    1. Avatar
      nath January 24, 2021 at 9:08 am .

      damn i be wrong lol away to burnley wed if this fixture is next it will be a hard cause they are fighting for their lives unlike newcastle. we have a few days to train and recover almost getting back to normal. also we are almost surpassed last year points total. one shy of 30 is brilliant at this point.

      burnley are very different team to most others in this league, for those that remember crazy gang they are like that but not crazy fully committed gang. they will test your defence they play two up front they get the ball forward quickly. they defend strongly down the middle space left out wide for you to cross balls into their strength at centre back.

      the misplace passing we suffering slightly with might be lack of training time too with the group as whole. relationships need to be reformed and we have a few days to bond

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. January 24, 2021 at 4:17 pm .

    Bloody hell Nath im deprest already, we dont stand a chance then? The lads won’t let us down I feel in in my water, be a good game you bet it will. I’ll be happy just to in the premiere because it’s now clear to me were back as a fighting club,

    1. Avatar
      Originallondonlion January 24, 2021 at 4:51 pm .

      Don’t Worry Bill, Villa will overrun Burnley in midfield. That will lead to more chances created by Villa. Two things then to frustrate us as they did in the first match.
      Burnley’s defence gets to the player on he ball very quickly so our attackers will have to hit the target with the first or second touch, there will be no chances for ditherers.
      Nick Pope. The Best English goal-keeper in England and possibly the best goalkeeper in England – certainly in the top 4. MOM when we last met.

    2. Avatar
      nath January 24, 2021 at 5:00 pm .

      i never said we will lose, i said it will be a tough game. playing burnley is hard cause they will make you play their game. our best game is when we play on the counter, but they won’t get their defence out of shape. might be hard to counter them. they will allow us space down the sides of their defence like they did against pool. but that might be a error we are pretty good out wide.

      tough one too call bill, fans will see their position and say easy win, we will have to be switch on the full 90 and fitter. i think the key will not conceding against them early. cause they will get ultra defensive. that will tough to break

      anyways pool v utd should be fun i hate them both so who to support ?? i hate pool less so come on the dirty scousers 1 3

  4. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. January 24, 2021 at 5:36 pm .

    Same here Nath , rooting for them dirty scousers, I wonder who the ref will root for?

    1. Avatar
      nath January 24, 2021 at 5:49 pm .

      so funny watching linekar wrighty and shearer how much padding are they wearing lmao

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. January 25, 2021 at 11:30 am .

    Lampard to be sacked today,

  6. Avatar
    Gerry January 26, 2021 at 5:55 pm .

    Just released from the Premier League.

    At the time, by the letter of the law, the goal was legitimate, because Mings played the ball deliberately and so the offside player is deemed not to have gained an advantage.

    But referees group the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, rulemakers the International Football Association Board, and European governing body Uefa have since offered clarification on how such an incident should be interpreted in the future.

    “Where a player in an offside position immediately impacts on an opponent who has deliberately played the ball, the match officials should prioritise challenging an opponent for the ball, and thus the offside offence of ‘interfering with an opponent by impacting on the opponent’s ability to play the ball’ should be penalised.”

    The statement from the Premier League added: “Accordingly, if a similar situation to the one involving Rodri’s impact on Mings occurred in a future match, then the impact would be penalised for offside.”

  7. Avatar
    Gerry January 26, 2021 at 6:01 pm .

    The BBC’s Head of Soccer has just given us our half term report.

    Aston Villa
    The most improved team in the Premier League.

    Villa escaped relegation on the final day of last season but a summer of smart recruitment, plus retaining the inspirational Jack Grealish, means they have been transformed into one of the most exciting and entertaining teams in the division.

    The highlight was the sensational 7-2 home win against champions Liverpool. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has been outstanding while Grealish’s class has stood out in a season that holds rich promise for the months ahead.

    Phil McNulty’s pre-season prediction: 15th

    Aston Villa’s current position: 8th

    Half-term report card: New arrivals and smart management have sparked huge improvement. Real European prospects if progress continues.

  8. Avatar
    Gerry January 26, 2021 at 6:41 pm .

    Aston Villa have signed former France Under-21 midfield Morgan Sanson from Marseille on a four-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee. Thought to be 14 million

  9. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. January 26, 2021 at 7:06 pm .

    Villa captain Jack Grealish admitted his ‘confusion’ post-match while Dean Smith was sent off from the touchline for asking referee Jon Moss if he had received juggling balls as a Christmas present.

    After consultation between the International Football Association Board and UEFA, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have updated their guidance to officials.

    “Where a player in an offside position immediately impacts on an opponent who has deliberately played the ball, the match officials should prioritise challenging an opponent for the ball, and thus the offside offence of ‘interfering with an opponent by impacting on the opponent’s ability to play the ball’ should be penalised,” it reads

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