Villa – Millwall; Still confident, but maybe a trickier test

Isn’t it strange how you occasionally struggle with spelling some simple words?
Well, I do anyway and “Millwall” is one of them.
Hopefully I’ve spelled it correctly, with two “l”s.

Enough of that waffle and while I see this as possibly a tougher test than it seems on paper, I see no reason to not be confident in getting yet another three points.
Well, I say that, but there is of course the fact that we’re going for ten consecutive wins for the first time ever. When you consider our illustrious history and the fact that at one time we were the world’s biggest and most successful club, that’s no mean feat.
Even if it’s not at the highest level.

The trouble is, now we’ve equalled the record, we’re bound to lose a game at some time.
Fortunately I don’t think it will be tomorrow, although perversely, this might actually be the best game to lose, as many of us see it as a banana skin anyway and beating Norwich and Leeds may well prove to be more important psychologically.
I’m sure some of you will have opinions that don’t see things like me though and that’s fair enough. The three points in the bag would see us in a good position and you may feel we need them, if you’re not confident with us facing Leeds and Norwich (which I am).

Squad news and the big one is that Tammy Abraham is definitely out with his shoulder injury. Of course, this is bad news, but I don’t think it’s as bad as is being made out by some of the click-bait sites.
Looking at the last six games, here’s what I’m seeing goal-wise;

Abraham 3
Adomah 3
Grealish 2
McGinn 2
Hourihane, Kodjia, Mings and El Ghazi all on one.
My “O” level maths makes that 14 goals in six games, by the way; not too shabby at all.

The point being that, as good as Tammy has been for us, we’re not solely reliant on him and have goals throughout the side.
Plus Kodjia should be available and with Davis also available as an option, it’s not the end of the world for me.

Axel Tuanzebe’s injury isn’t as bad as was feared and he too should be available.
Hause is out, because of his hip problem, but Elphick and Chester are training again, although I doubt they’ll be called on.
Otherwise, we’re all good.

As for Millwall, they have Ben Thompson as a major doubt after he went off with a hamstring problem on Friday.
That’s possibly good news for us, as their manager, Neil Harris has marked him as their best player in recent weeks.

At the end of the day, Millwall will be fighting for survival, as they sit one place above the relegation zone, but they aren’t where they are for no reason.
Yes, they’re tough battlers and we have a poor record against them recently, but just as some of us saw Rotherham and Bolton as banana skin games, I think our quality will show out.
We are nothing like the team we have been under Bruce and I fully expect us to attack them to death in front of another sell-out crowd on a roasting hot day.

I’m going to predict a 2-1 victory.

UTV!

42 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson April 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm .

    Should that be Start Badger, I’m the worse in the world for spelling, no prediction from me keep the faith I say. well I’m in for a busy day as well my lovely grandaughter is 16 and big garden party tomorrow but Billy will be missing at kick off time looking at the game with 30 others, did anyone answer the question on Caen and our loan player coming in.

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 April 21, 2019 at 9:07 pm .

    Never mind 10 out of 10, aim for 15 out of 15 and job done. Alongside Baggies we have the strongest squad which I think at this time of the season is vital. Again I won’t make a prediction so as not to tempt fate. I’m hoping we are on the red button tomorrow despite earlier kick off.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 April 21, 2019 at 11:02 pm .

      Holte it’s on the red button. Unfortunately I’m on Now TV as I don’t have Sky and although I’m paying the money I can’t access the red button. Grrrr.

      No prediction from me either but I’m quietly confident. 10 out of 10 would be out of this world!

  3. Avatar
    Russell Brinklow April 21, 2019 at 10:11 pm .

    Your comments are always brilliant mate…..I really want and feel us winning all the way to the prem and creating a mind boggling winning sequence. Actually, injuries permitting I see no reason why not! #UTV

  4. Avatar
    Gman Sid April 21, 2019 at 11:18 pm .

    Looking at Millwall’s results they are a tricky side. They’ve beaten Albion at home, Blues away. Drawn away to Sheffield United. Scored 2 at Leeds. Yet somehow they’re fighting relegation. We should win, but a draw would be no surprise. Other results will tell us how costly that might be.

  5. Avatar
    nath April 22, 2019 at 7:18 am .

    i will be interested to see how smith plays these three last games. soon as villa are guaranteed top six, what will he do ??? loads of fans say rest players like mcginn for certain reasons like the yellow card issues. rest grealish so hes not injured before playoffs starts. i personally don’t agree, if we starts to tinker too much and we start to lose momentum that is also very important . sheff utd will not be happy with us taking the final games easy. i don’t believe smith will do that but its a concern. we should go out and try to win all the remaining games.

    millwall will be a far harder game if only cause we can see the finish. millwall last season were hungry having just been promoted. they pressed high and they were aggressive with their passes. MEANING they didnt mess around they got the ball into the box, very direct but this season they have not improved they have instead gone backwards they dont press as good and they struggled to score enough. looking at the table they might have enough with the amount of points they have. as long as they dont get hammered in any remaining game. maybe a point will be their ambition as they do have the superior goal difference.

    1. Avatar
      nath April 22, 2019 at 7:27 am .

      millwall have two winnable home games left bristrol city and stoke plus wigan away. they will target them home games and wigan away more than today. if i was them. i would try to frustrate villa not getting to ambitious with attacking. if you lost 1 nil that would be a good result they would still be two plus up on rotherham

      rotherham have also two home games scum and middlesbrough they could easily take 4 points from them. meaning millwall would only need a point to guarantee safety rotherham away game is wba

  6. Avatar
    Hitchens60 April 22, 2019 at 9:54 am .

    My concern is illogical but nonetheless all clubs have their ‘bogey’ teams and Millwall is one of ours. We have a shocking record against them as we do generally against London sides.

    I’m keeping everything crossed – after all fight superstition with superstition!

    1. Avatar
      nath April 22, 2019 at 10:28 am .

      The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. 3 points and top 5 guaranteed today. Live long and prosper villa VTD

      just a few spock wise words

      millwall might have a good record against us, but in a match today it wont have any barrings on todays result. thats not to say they might win or draw but something will happen to warrant them having success. just enjoy the game hitch and put your doubts away. lol

  7. Avatar
    nath April 22, 2019 at 10:43 am .

    “I think it [being the underdog] kind of suits us as a club. The teams mentality that we have got is we can go to places like that and perform – be the underdog and upset the party.

    “Teams higher up the table can find it difficult against us the way we play. We make it difficult for teams, we are hard to beat, and teams can get frustrated with us, especially at their own home grounds where the home fans can get frustrated. So that’s what we like to do and hopefully that can happen again on Monday.”

    this was taken from alex pearce on todays game

    villa fans have played a big part of the winning streak, smith game plan is about villa players wanting the ball. like in the first half against bolton things sometimes don’t come off. but the villa fans are starting to understand our game and are more patient than before. today fans will have to be patient and allow our players to work millwall out and create the spaces and openings out without getting stretched doing so

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 April 22, 2019 at 10:50 am .

      Tbf Nath that supports your earlier comment. Millwall will sit deep without a lot of ambition and try and catch us on the break.

      As you say we have to be careful not to overcommit. We saw against Bolton that our attacking style does give the opposition chances albeit our defence is more confident than it was earlier in the season.

      An early Villa goal would be ideal 🙂

      1. Avatar
        nath April 22, 2019 at 11:03 am .

        thats spot on hitch and attending fans will play a massive role. millwall will come to frustrate and try to make villa over commit and steal the lead from a set piece or break away.

        villa have not just improved with the ball, they are such much more improved off it too. i cant see anything but a villa win, if villa players match the work they have in recent games and millwalls work today.

        against bolton i was impressed first half we might not have scored but we worked bolton hard. villa movement is A class rated. i would hate to defend them. we double up everywhere. we just moved the ball slowly. second half we quicken up the play and bolton were done for.

        today will be no different villa will work millwall , stretching them until we create the openings. just hope we take our chances, if we score early that will also be that straw that breaks millwall backs

  8. Avatar
    Hitchens60 April 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm .

    Two forced changes today – Jedinak in for Tuanzebe and Kodjia for Abraham. Elphick returns to the bench. So no starting place for Hourihane.

    1. Avatar
      Holte66 April 22, 2019 at 12:49 pm .

      In an ideal world we will stroll to a comfortable lead and then take off Grealish and McGinn etc but it depends how we start. I agree with the views that Millwall will be hard to break down and rely on counter attacking / direct approach. Good to see Elphick on the bench because we will need strength in depth in defence. Tuanzebe will hopefully we back for the next game and also Hause and Chester for final run in. Biggest worry is getting Abraham back for playoffs assuming we will be in it. UTV!

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