Villa – Reading; How should Bruce play this?

We face Reading tomorrow then, a game which is quickly followed by another tough game against Fulham away on Monday.
Utter madness and it’s a good job we aren’t fighting for a promotion place at this stage, as it would be a major test for any squad.

That said, I don’t know when the decision was taken, but it seems it was the club itself that decided to change it to Saturday, at the request of Aston Parish church.
I’m not in the slightest religious, but do have respect for others and see this as a good decision, in keeping with the club doing it’s best to keep the local community onside.
Plus Saturday afternoons are always the best time for footy, in my opinion.

But it seriously stretches the squad, in that asking them to play two games in three days is too much by today’s standards.
Which all begs the question of do we prioritise one game over another?
Or do we regard both as the same and just rest a couple of players in each?

I’d suggest it’ll be the latter, as although it seems Steve Bruce has suggested he might make major changes, I don’t believe they’ll all be in the same game.
It wouldn’t make sense, as while we don’t really have much to play for now, it would be sensible to keep the team as stable as possible. Every game the main players play together should help them to develop an understanding and keep the momentum up. Points breed confidence and we want to drop as few as possible in this final run in, if we’re to steamroll the league next season.

So, it’s hard to call the team really, although I’d guess that Mile Jedinak won’t play both games; at least not fully.
Is Nathan Baker up to it? He’s injury prone, so it might pay to give him as much rest as possible too.

So what do we know?
The long term injuries apart, we’re not too bad.
Jonathan Kodjia, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and Andre Green are all fit.
Kodjia’s a certainty and the young lads might get minutes, but I’ll be surprised if Gabby gets a look in.
I’d guess Gardner and Grealish might feature too, but I suspect both might be in the last chance saloon, so if they do get on, they’ll need to show something.

Reading got absolutely tonked by Norwich last week and you can be sure they’ll be up for this one, as another defeat might severely dent their promotion hopes. They’re fifth in the league with a game in hand on most sides, but they are by no means guaranteed a play-off place.

I’d like to think we can actually win this, but it has a draw written all over it.
I’ll go for 1-1.

Can Kodjia get yet another goal?
Part of me would love to see him get 20 this season.
But the other part would like to see someone else chipping in with the goals.


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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 15, 2017 at 8:30 am . Reply

    Maybe it’ll be on the BBC as an Easter gift to all Villains!!!! I think a couple of draws are on the cards.

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 April 15, 2017 at 10:01 am . Reply

    Agreed – feeling this might be a draw. Would expect Hogan and Kodija to start – AmavI to bench and Hourihane to start. Expect SB to use all three subs mid 2nd half but with Fulham Monday might see a couple rested with perhaps Green and Bree starting. If Jedi starts reckon he’ll be subbed to save him for Monday.

    1. villaawayindiv3
      villaawayindiv3 April 15, 2017 at 4:26 pm . Reply

      Need Mr Kodjia to pop up…at least once.

  3. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 April 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm . Reply

    Or maybe three times 🙂

    1. villaawayindiv3
      villaawayindiv3 April 15, 2017 at 4:41 pm . Reply

      Yep….do you think it could be 7-3

  4. Adam
    Adam April 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm . Reply

    Bruce out!…………..only joking ;)… these games dont really matter amymore just get ready for next season now.

    1. villaawayindiv3
      villaawayindiv3 April 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm . Reply

      Like last few seasons…team getting a 1st time record against us

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 April 15, 2017 at 5:09 pm . Reply

        But always likely that one day they would win at VP – better lose this game than the next one at home. Only disappointment for me was that SB didn’t include any of the development squad – hopefully this result will encourage him to do so at Fulham where we won’t be expected to get anything.

        Still haven’t managed to win after going behind for over three years – that’s the ‘monkey’ I would like to see gone before the end of the season.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm . Reply

      I’m not Potato head out

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