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. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson April 13, 2024 at 1:16 pm . Reply

    Watching the game Newcastle all over Spuds, it could have been 4 keep it coming Newcastle.

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson April 13, 2024 at 1:48 pm . Reply

    Back in fourth spot lads all on tomorrow’s game. Newcastle 3 Spuds 0 keep it coming Newcastle.

  3. BFR
    BFR April 13, 2024 at 1:56 pm . Reply

    Our numbers are literally identical to Tottenham’s. As it stands we go back to 4th because we’ve scored one more goal than them. Yet they’re perceived as the most entertaining team in the league. I’d love a 0-0 tomorrow. We really need to contain them. But how? Can’t really afford another -3 gd as against City…

  4. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 13, 2024 at 2:02 pm . Reply

    Thanks BarCodes!!!!

  5. little8
    little8 April 13, 2024 at 4:27 pm . Reply

    Bloody hell what a result we need 4th after that terrible week for English clubs in Europe

  6. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 13, 2024 at 6:09 pm . Reply

    Bournmouth beating Manure. Terrible defending by United. Come on Bournmouth give them a shellacking.


    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 April 13, 2024 at 7:02 pm . Reply

      See Manure usual lucky penalty.

  7. Holte
    Holte April 13, 2024 at 7:05 pm . Reply

    Bournemouth should have been out of sight with the chances they have had. I don’t think it was a penalty either but somehow the officials want to do everything possible to help them.

  8. OLL again
    OLL again April 13, 2024 at 7:11 pm . Reply

    Could be another Customers Game tomorrow. It might make sense to drop Ollie to the bench play either Duran or Rogers up top and start both Diaby and Bailey. Cash Konsa Lenglet and Digne at the back, Maginn, Torres and Carlos in midfield. If Iroegbunam starts we are definitely chucking the towel in from the off.

    We are not going to keep Arsenal out if we play the high line with the defenders we have left, we were lucky they had a real off night at VP. Since Emery refuses to play a low block as a tactic, different if we are forced back, we might as well play a surprise formation.

  9. Gerry
    Gerry April 13, 2024 at 9:30 pm . Reply

    Of course you know this but I want to see it in writing. OK
    We are 16 points ahead of Chelsea
    We are 12 points ahead of west Ham
    We are 10 points ahead of both Manchester Unioted and Newcastle
    We are ahead of Tottenham Hotspur
    We are a whole Universe ahead of Birmingham City.

    Now doesn’t that feel good. Slainte and Up The Villa

  10. BFR
    BFR April 14, 2024 at 12:36 pm . Reply

    …spaceship stadium, 65,000 (snigger snigger)…

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