It all seems so illogical.
Sheffield currently sit on ten points. No team with less than thirteen points at this stage has survived relegation in Premier league history. They’ve kept one clean sheet all season and have conceded 54 goals. They’ve lost 30 out of 39 games under Wilder in the Prem and quite simply are looking absolute certainties to go down.
Because they’re rubbish. These facts are totally objective and that’s what they tell us.
Hence we should be beat them easily and there’s nothing more to be said.
So why do I feel so uneasy?
Well, it seems to me Chris Wilder knows how to play against us.
You probably remember the Villa park fixture. We were poor, they played a low block and Archer scored (typical Villa) only for Zaniolo to equalise in the 97th minute.
Sheffield defended well, we looked lightweight and the Blades beat us with a bit of physicality.
Team news and Pau Torres, Lucas Digne, Tyrone Mings, Emi Buendia and Jhon Duran remain out.
We can also add Zaniolo to that list after he suffered an injury in training.
It really seems like players are made of straw these days, but whatever, so much for the backup striker thing. It’s all just typical Villa and you have to laugh, I suppose.
There is one difference and that’s Morgan Rogers who joined us on deadline day.
He plays wide left or right or behind the striker, I believe, so should be a handy addition. If Emery thinks he’s ready and actually plays him, that is. I personally think he’ll get minutes at best, particularly as I saw an article where the pundit said he was surprised we signed him because he’s decent, but not proven yet. I can’t say I was at all encouraged by that, but we know Emery improves players.
As for Sheffield, goalkeeper Ivo Grbic will be replaced by Wes Foderingham after the Croatian suffered a concussion midweek.
Ben Brereton Diaz should be available after suffering a tight hammy. Deadline day signing Mason Holgate is also available, but Rhian Brewster is still suspended.
So there we have it then.
3 or 4-1, I’m thinking.
Except I’m not at all. My confidence has pretty much disappeared and it’s not just because of the Newcastle game. We’ve been poor for weeks and don’t look anything like shaking it off just yet.
Which means we’re just going to have to play through it and hope for the best.
It’s annoying, because I believe this is another massive game. If we win, we go back into 4th place, 2 points above Spurs, after Everton did us a favour in holding them to a draw this afternoon.
Lose and we’re losing even more ground with other teams catching us up.
How do I think it’s going to go then?
Well, you’d expect Wilder to come at us seeing as they’re at home, but that won’t happen, because he knows that will be playing into our hands. So I think it’s going to be a repeat of the VP fixture, where we huff and puff, trying to break down a defensive side and they out-muscle us all over the park. And then add in a continuation of us creating next to nothing as we constantly give the ball to their defenders. Again.
So where I really ought to be saying this will be an easy win, I’m going for another 1-1.
Although I strongly suspect they’re going to beat us.
I hope not and I shouldn’t even be thinking like that, should I?