Well, here we are.
A one-off game that decides if we get back into the Premier league or not.
And maybe equally importantly, it decides if we get our hands on the minimum £170 million that the winner receives.
I’m seeing figures as high as £280 million, if we were to be promoted and stay up next season.
Either way, the figures are mind-boggling and it’s the richest football game in the world; even bigger than the game that follows shortly after.
Not that any of you need me to tell you that.
Or the fact that if we lose, we’re probably financially in trouble because of FFP.
I’m just seeing on the Beeb, that we’re guaranteed £35 million next season, if we fail to win this game.
That’s what’s at stake.
Which makes things all quite scary.
Team news first and our only doubt is Ahmed Elmohamady. The good news is that there’s a decent possibility that he might make it.
I hope so, as I feel he’ll be a much better option than Bree for this particular game.
Otherwise we’re all good and Steve Bruce has all his options to choose from.
Fulham are in an even better position, where they have no injuries worth worrying about.
Can we do it then?
Well, we have the right sort of manager and we have the right sort of experience in the side for getting promoted.
Whereas Fulham have a very poor record of getting promoted and their players have little, if any, experience of it.
Not that I’m convinced experience counts for much, although it certainly doesn’t hurt.
The single most important factor is which team turns up on the day (on both sides).
If either have an off day, they’ll probably lose. We just have to hope that it isn’t us.
I could rattle on about form and previous meetings, but I really don’t think it means much.
It seems the bookies have Fulham as clear favourites and if I was a neutral, I could see why.
But we all know that we were massive underdogs on that glorious day we won “Big ears”, so again, that means nothing, to my mind.
That said, Fulham are a good side that have goals in them and they do worry me.
Yet they’re nowhere unbeatable, as was demonstrated by Blues.
Certainly Fulham bottled it for that game and that would seem a massive plus in our favour.
Then again, we bottled it against Bolton and QPR, didn’t we?
We all know the team Steve Bruce will put out. There’s no chance he will change anything up.
So it all depends on how he decides to play the game.
I’m of the opinion that we need to take it to them from the off and try to get the first goal.
And then keep the pressure on, which I believe is our weakness.
We still seem prone to going too deep when we have the advantage, as I complained about against Middlesboro.
If we let them come at us, I just can’t see us not conceding.
If we sit back and they score first, well, while I might see us getting two, I’d probably see them also getting two or more.
And that’s the worry, in that if we have to chase the game, they have the quality and pace to pick us off.
If we keep at them and neither side gets a goal, so then, the game will become more and more interesting.
And no doubt even more nail-biting.
Hence I think the first goal will prove vital and we need to get it if we’re to win the game.
One big advantage we might have is that you know all the Villa fans who attend will be just that; Villa fans.
Whereas many of those in the Fulham end won’t be. They’ll be plastics or neutrals.
Whatever, I’m not going to predict the result as I really don’t know how it’s going to go.
The truth is though, that I hope the players are more confident than me, which I suspect they are.
There is something that I’ll be able to console myself with, should we lose, even though I’ll probably be heart-broken.
This game should not be being played and the team that finished third in the Championship should be promoted.
It’s as simple as that, even though it wouldn’t have suited us.
But seeing as we are playing it, I of course want us to win.