Villa – Lille; European quarter final

So we face a Lille side who are actually in a very similar position to us in the French Ligue 1, where they’re challenging for a Champion’s league place, although without wishing to be disrespectful, I’m not convinced that’s the equivalent of how well we’ve done, given the standard of their league.
But then, current league position is not that important at this stage, as we all know any team can beat any other in knockout games. Plus, given that they’re unbeaten in all their previous Conference games this season, you could actually say they’ve done better than us.

So while I know nothing at all about Lille, I think I can pretty confidently say that this won’t be an easy game at all. Is the fact that we’re playing at home first an advantage or a disadvantage? I’ve never really been convinced although no doubt most people would say you have the advantage of knowing what you need to do if you’re at home for the second leg.
Me, I’m more inclined to think that if you’re the better team, you’ll win out, whatever happens, on average.
The one worrying thing is that Lille apparently beat us 2-0 at Villa Park in the Intertoto cup, albeit in 2002. I can’t say I remember that at all. Anyway, we’re a totally different side to what we were then.

So are we better than them? I don’t have a clue.

Squad news and Mings, Buendia, Kamara, Ramsey, Cash and Lenglet may not be available depending on how you interpret Emery’s comment;
“Lenglet has a small problem but is not available for tomorrow.”
Is it a small problem or big enough to keep him out? I’m going with the latter.
Zaniolo is back after his suspension and Watkins should start.

Lille have Angel Gomez back from a similar hamstring niggle to Ollie, but Samuel Umtiti, Andrej Illic and Tiago Morais are all going to miss out. Yes, I was distraught about that news too.

So there we have it. I’d like to think we have enough about us to win this leg at least.
And if we’re going to go on and win the competition, you have to beat whoever you face. It’s really that simple.

But it’s not simple enough for me to be able to make a prediction. Not even a guess.
So it’s a case of me just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping.



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  1. Gerry
    Gerry April 11, 2024 at 7:12 pm . Reply

    Same team as the side against Brentford.

  2. Sidforever
    Sidforever April 11, 2024 at 7:14 pm . Reply

    Your analysis spot on. I agree that predicting a winner for this one is very hard and it could easily go either way.

    Personally I feel we are running on fumes at the moment. The injuries are having a negative impact on the fluidity of the team. Cash being absent is resulting in our best centre half playing right back. Konsa’s absence at centre half where I believe he is in the top handful of defenders in the premier, is made worse be Kamara’s absence. Teams are now finding it easier to cut through us. Fuerther, our attacking intent down the right has diminished.

    Further, I think Moreno seems to my eyes to have lost a yard of pace through injury. Last year he burnt past the opposition right back for fun. Now he lays the ball off and does not attack.

    I don’t see Tilesman as a combative midfielder. A silky touch he does possess but being the man you want in the trenches next to you when being bombarded he is not.
    All in all I am pessimistic about tonight. Then again can Rogers keep making quantifiable steps forward and compensate for the loss of Ramsey.

    Villa, please prove me wrong. It’s still been a great season.

  3. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 7:17 pm . Reply

    Wish I felt confident – but I don’t!

    My grandson is going tonight and he doesn’t have a good recent record at VP which isn’t helping.

    It just seems to me that the injury toll is beginning to bite and the freedom with which we played earlier in the season has gone. Emery doesn’t have the players available to rotate and consequently the bench looks a little short of experience.

    In essence he’s put out the only team available Martinez, Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne, Bailey, Tielemans, Luiz, McGinn, Rogers, Watkins

    Hope I’m wrong!


    1. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum April 11, 2024 at 7:28 pm . Reply

      That’s still a bloody good team, Hitch. I’d have started Diaby though.
      KO shortly!!!!!

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 7:43 pm . Reply

        Can’t disagree BumBum but sadly not a lot on the bench if it isn’t going to plan – particularly in defence!

        I think Emery probably sees Diaby as an impact sub in this one.

        1. The Ron Saunders Stand
          The Ron Saunders Stand April 11, 2024 at 8:13 pm . Reply

          This Lille look a really useful outfit ,going to be a tough tie.

  4. BFR
    BFR April 11, 2024 at 8:34 pm . Reply

    Not able to watch tonight. Are we ‘under the cosh’?

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand April 11, 2024 at 8:43 pm . Reply

      They are a good side but lack potency up front.
      Chesty’s having a good game 😀

  5. Texas Villan
    Texas Villan April 11, 2024 at 8:40 pm . Reply

    We were a bit early on, but it’s all us now. Bailey back to his frustrating self and seeking the glory over the pass to player in space. Ollie is up for it, so is JCM and Rogers.

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 8:51 pm . Reply

    Lille look a very decent outfit and it’s of concern how often they’ve created a one on one chance – thank goodness for Martinez.

    We’ve been quite sloppy at times and will need to tighten up our passing.

    1-0 not going to be enough – wouldn’t surprise me of Lille get one early in the second half.

    Is that too negative? Just trying to be objective.

  7. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 11, 2024 at 8:52 pm . Reply

    Bailey was invisible last game too. Happens to all pkayers but we could really do without the bad timing considering our injury list.

    Emi has been stunningly solid all game. Calss.

  8. Holte
    Holte April 11, 2024 at 8:58 pm . Reply

    I thought that was another sloppy first half. One good corner being the difference between the two teams. Passing needs to be improved upon second half otherwise I can see them scoring. Carlos has been poor again and Konsa looks nervous at RB. I would bring Kesler on and swap Konsa for Carlos personally.

  9. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 9:12 pm . Reply

    Yet another anti Villa ref. Konsa has his shirt almost pulled off – no yellow card. Luiz half tugs a Lille shirt – yellow card!

    And Bailey should have scored after a brilliant pull back by Watkins!

  10. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 11, 2024 at 9:14 pm . Reply

    That was just a clear bloody penalty!!!!
    And why was Luiz booked for a slight shirt tug when Konsa’s was nearly just ripped off him???

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 9:16 pm . Reply

      Quite right Bum Bum – shit anti Villa referee again.

  11. The Ron Saunders Stand
    The Ron Saunders Stand April 11, 2024 at 9:15 pm . Reply

    That’s a pen all day!

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand April 11, 2024 at 9:18 pm . Reply

      Super John McGinn!

  12. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 11, 2024 at 9:17 pm . Reply


  13. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 9:17 pm . Reply

    McGinn makes them pay and quite right too.

  14. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 9:20 pm . Reply

    Ref is a disgrace – Lille kicking Villa but not a single yellow card!

  15. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 11, 2024 at 9:21 pm . Reply

    We could do with Liverpool sorting themselves out for the coefficient. 2 down at Anfield…
    Wet Spam need to hold on too…
    If it stays like this we’d be the only English team to win in Europe this week! Collectively we need to do better…

  16. Sidforever
    Sidforever April 11, 2024 at 9:24 pm . Reply

    And here we go

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand April 11, 2024 at 9:28 pm . Reply

      Looked well on to me but I’ll take the it 😂

      1. Hitchens60
        Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 9:29 pm . Reply

        Balances out the pen RSS

        1. The Ron Saunders Stand
          The Ron Saunders Stand April 11, 2024 at 9:32 pm . Reply

          True hitch (-:

  17. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 11, 2024 at 9:26 pm . Reply

    VAR saves us and Prince William and George are there too!!!!!!!

  18. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 11, 2024 at 9:26 pm . Reply

    Offside but once again we concede a goal from a cross

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