Hmm, perhaps the headline says it all really, but I am very confident about this game.
We’re currently in fine fettle, having won 5 out of our last 6, with the only loss being against Huddersfield; a game that I felt we were somewhat unlucky to lose.
We’re top of the table for 6 game form, basically (quickly brushes over the previous 6 games, ahem).
Norwich, on the other hand have only won 1 in the last 6, having drawn 3 and lost 2.
They’re managerless and it’s hard to see that there’s anything that’s going to make them reverse their recent run.
And talking of form, over the last 5 games, there are only 4 teams that have won 3 games or more.
Which I find very interesting, because even Newcastle and Brighton have only won twice and the latter have actually lost 3.
Sheffield Wednesday have won only 1 in the last 5 and they’re currently 6th in the table.
Why this fascination with form?
Well, it’s because it gives me hope and that’s exactly what Footy should be about.
It means the season isn’t quite finished yet, as if we were to win every game we have left, there is still a faint hope of a play-off placing.
I know. I’m deluded. It’s not possible.
But stranger things have happened and there are always teams that seriously struggle and a team that sneaks in at the end of it all. We currently look like that sneaky team.
But that’s where the “I think” part of the headline comes in.
It’s the Villa and just when you think things are going well, so they kick you in the whatnots.
I suppose I live in somewhat vain hope.
Squads then and Norwich are missing Wes Hoolahan, who’s a decent player.
Louis Thompson remains out and defender Mitchell Dijks is banned,
Nelson Oliveira and Graham Dorrans are available and Youssouf Mulumbu might be too.
On our side, Nathan baker and Jack Grealish are apparently fit, as is Gabby, but he doesn’t count as he won’t be anywhere near starting, simple as.
So how do we line up?
Well, the main question is if Steve Bruce will play Mile Jedinak or rest him and put Baker straight back in.
I’d expect there will have been a conversation between Jedinak and the manager as to how he feels.
Which strikes me as good management, in that they talk and consider each other.
I’d expect Jedinak to start, but probably be subbed for Baker if the game’s going ok.
Makes sense to me, anyway. You rest the old-timer and give the previously injured party minutes.
Taylor will play at LB. Bruce has made it quite plain that he needs to get on with things after that tackle.
Very sensible advice too, in my opinion.
The only other decisions revolve around Hogan, who surely comes straight back, meaning Adomah moves back to the right.
And Lansbury comes back in for Gardner.
The rest of the team pretty much picks itself, although there might be an argument that says Green might start instead of Amavi?
RB is a choice between Bree and Hutton. I’d be ok with either and guess they’ll get swapped out.
Genuine choices; what a luxury.
And I’d suggest that’s probably very close to our best side?
So, as you might have guessed, I’m going for the win.
I also have a sneaky feeling that we’re going to score more than 2.
And for the third game running, I think Hourihane will get one.
I really shouldn’t count my chickens, should I?