Villa – Ipswich: Must win? Is it even a can win? I don’t have a clue anymore.

The headline says it all doesn’t it?
Put it this way. If we can’t beat Ipswich at home we’re in serious trouble.
I’ve just been looking at the Championship table and it makes for some very depressing viewing. When I see the likes of Blackburn are above us, it just highlights even more how badly we’ve done recently.
That’s not some sense of entitlement or disrespect on my part against Blackburn, but given that they’ve had practically no resources to work with for years now, our current position borders on scandalous.
Then add in that only two clubs in the league have conceded more goals than us and it rams things home even more.

There is some good news though and Ipswich are one of those teams who’ve conceded more than us.
They’ve had a poor season up to now, having only won three games this season and sitting rock bottom of the table.
We all know that doesn’t mean much though, as we’re almost a charity to any club that’s doing poorly or has been on a terrible run.
And then of course, we have new manager syndrome and a certain Paul Lambert to throw into the mix.

The other piece of good news is that I’m currently on holiday in Sri Lanka and guess what? It just so happens to be on the international AVTV list, so I may actually be able to watch the game. Not that I’m holding much hope that the hotel wi-fi will actually be able to handle a video stream, but I’ll at least be able to listen to it.

Squad news and Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan are both fit, which is interesting, because although I can see a reason to play Jedinak to shore us up against high balls, do we really need him today against Ipswich? I’m not convinced, but Dean Smith may think differently.
Jack Grealish is close to outdoor running, but it’s far too early for him.

What to think then?
For me, this is the shoe-in of all shoe-ins and losing today really is unthinkable.
Fortunately, I don’t think we will and although it wouldn’t surprise me if we make things awkward for ourselves, I can’t see past us winning.
I’m guessing it’ll only be by the odd goal, but I’ll take that.
It’d be great to actually go out and thrash Ipswich today, but I really don’t see that happening.
What I’ll be looking for mostly is the level of intensity we bring to the game, especially after Smith has asked for it.
If it’s not forthcoming, I can only see us struggling for the rest of the season.

Villa to win, 1-0


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  1. Avatar
    Hitchens60 January 26, 2019 at 7:55 am .

    Spot on Badger.

    Going to the game with my Ipswich mate – he’s not confident; so that makes two of us!

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 January 26, 2019 at 9:36 am .

    This is a must win game. No excuses if we don’t win. In fact if we don’t get 6 points from the next 2 games then there is something seriously wrong at our club. I expect Ipswich to come and frustrate us, especially with Lambert in charge. Have we got the creativity to break them down? That’s another question! Without Grealish we are seriously struggling to find a way other than crosses and set pieces. My prediction for today is 2-1 Villa because I expect us to concede even against Ipswich.

  3. Avatar
    Holte66 January 26, 2019 at 2:05 pm .

    Whelan and Taylor both start so we are down to 9 men then! Also where are Green, Bjarnasson and Hogan? None of them in the match day squad! I’m actually going to change my prediction to 1-1. Awful starting 11 apart from McGinn and Abraham.

  4. Avatar
    DSVilla January 26, 2019 at 2:40 pm .

    Oh come on guys. It’s Ipswich FFS. Their goal difference is 30 worse than ours. We’re going through a sticky patch but we should win this comfortably. 3-0 for me.

  5. Avatar
    nath January 26, 2019 at 2:49 pm .

    holding midfielder needs to be mobile as his main role without the ball will mean covering our fullbacks or general plugging gaps which appear, in smiths game his holding midfielder usually are able to pass out. hourihane has been given the role recently and he is too casual. its not just last week were he was robbed he often dilly dallies on the ball. either looking for movement where there is no movement. jedi i think is the best we have for the holding mid. but he doesn’t he the legs to cover the basics of the positions, also his passing is dire. i guess whelen is the best option by defualt

    i have been impressed with smith, he has been saying the right things off field, in our mini crisis. for those that wrote off the season it shouldnt matter much. but i think they are well capable for top 6 still, we will need to go on a incredible run and we are certainly good enough in the playoffs if we reach um. its been a difficult period we have been stuck in and smith will come out of it knowing more about the players he has been left here with.

    4 1 thats one more than my normal 3 i go with. incredibly we are odds on for this game. but i have been bitten too many times to bite that odds i wonder how the reception will be for mr lambert hope they do boo hate that. save the boos for real traitors not for those that were not good enough but tried their best.

    p/s ohare needs to show something if hes called upon, more times he tastes the 1st teams the less he will look out of place. hes all rush neeess to compose himself=, fingers crossed he gets on and shows his best

    1. Avatar
      nath January 26, 2019 at 2:52 pm .

      don’t boo

    2. Avatar
      Sidforever January 26, 2019 at 2:56 pm .

      I’m just not confident about this one today. I really hope I am wrong. Does anyone know what’s happened to Green?

      Interesting to see Hutton, Elphick, Whelan, El Ghazi, Adomah and Abraham all start and none will be Villa players next year. From the subs neither Steer or Jedinak. It really shows the predicament we are in and the job Smith has on his hands.

  6. Avatar
    nath January 26, 2019 at 3:04 pm .

    it looks like hourihan and whelen are just playing normal central roles and mcginn is more forward

    1. Avatar
      DSVilla January 26, 2019 at 3:11 pm .

      I think that’s a more sensible shape for us with our defensive issues. Should help our defence and also help cover our wingers. We have enough offensively without going gunging ho. I think you are bang on about the difficulties playing Smith’s preferred system with the lack of legs and some just not up to it

  7. Avatar
    nath January 26, 2019 at 3:07 pm .

    1 nil tammy

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