Stoke – Villa: I don’t know what to think about this one. Should I predict a win?

I’ve just been looking at the Championship table and it makes for interesting viewing.
Only Bristol City have won their last five games and there’s only one club, Brentford, who have won four out of the five.
So it’s definitely a very topsy-turvy league, as many have said, where anyone can beat anyone.
Which is a good thing and exactly how it should be, in my opinion.

The reason I was looking, was to give me some basis on my total guess of how the game might go.
And before I looked, I was working on the assumption that we’d lost before we kicked off.
So imagine my surprise when I found that Stoke’s record is actually worse than ours. At least we managed to beat Ipswich, while Stoke were held to a draw, albeit away.

And then, after reading that Saido Berahino has been arrested for drink-driving, I read today that Liam Lawrence, the Stoke legend(?) has said that he’s hearing some horror stories about Stoke’s players.
There’s no doubting that Lawrence wants Berahino sacked and I saw their manager suggesting that the player is a bad ‘un and he only wants “good people” at the club.
Which all suggests that Stoke are in quite a bit of turmoil, which sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?

So maybe things are looking up for us when it comes to this game?

On Stokes’s side, Berahino will surely not be available, but defender Tom Edwards may be, after a head injury.

As for us, we’re still without James Chester and Jack Grealish, but that’s no real surprise.
Kalinic is also doubtful after his head injury, but the main news is that John McGinn serves the first of his two match ban.

And it’s that latter part that concerns me.
What’s a midfield without McGinn going to look like?
If Dean Smith goes with Jedinak, Whelan and Hourihane, well, you just can’t see any pace or inventiveness at all, can you?
Maybe El Ghazi will come in and play a number 10 role?
I’d say he has the tools in his locker to do the job and it might even suit him, as he is skilful. But he hasn’t really looked the part lately, along with many of our players.

Maybe Smith will go with a couple of kids to up our energy levels, but I’m not convinced, as he might see this as a game which we’d be looking to win, to get our season rolling again. And experience is the way to go.

I’m afraid I think that any team that is going to lose to us will have to be incredibly poor.
And if they can put even half a decent game together, I’d expect us to be beaten.

With that, I’m going to predict a 1-1 draw, but it’s more in hope than expectation.
Yes, I think we’re really that poor a team at the moment.

I strongly suspect we’ll lose, I’m afraid.


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  1. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 February 23, 2019 at 5:06 pm . Reply

    It was like a 1st match back after the close season …only worse….should have won easily again as our shots on target needed saving.

  2. nath
    nath February 23, 2019 at 5:08 pm . Reply

    oh well another weekend gone and still we look for a win. that second half was much better, after we scored we improved loads, we pressed in packs instead of the usual lone hunts. which makes me believe its down to confidence mostly.

    need to create more clear chances with the ball we have, which will be worked on, el ghazi improved as the game went on. the run which led to the goal was what he has to do more off. he put the foot down and burned of the stoke defenders creating a good cross, he needs to do more of this, good to see adomah score, hopefully he will improve this stat with what games are left.

  3. Pat 57
    Pat 57 February 23, 2019 at 5:08 pm . Reply

    Wednesday win 3-1 and Bruce is unbeaten.

    I honestly just don’t get it….

    1. Holte66
      Holte66 February 23, 2019 at 5:52 pm . Reply

      I think Pat the problem at Villa, as a club we expect success instantly and when things go wrong everything becomes toxic. I would say reading posts on this site that most of us, although fed up with the run we are in, can see the bigger picture. We can’t keep calling for a managers head when we are in a bad run. I would imagine that if Bruce wasn’t being slaughtered by some of our fans, he would have turned things round. Smith needs time to at least have a summer window and pre season. I’m not happy by any means but we have to stop the rot by being patient and allowing a new era to take place.

  4. VillaAwayInDiv3
    VillaAwayInDiv3 February 23, 2019 at 5:47 pm . Reply

    Amazing…Albion just let an almost identical goal in from the one they scored against us….

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