Villa – Sunderland; No excuses, I expect 3 points and Lescott looking likely.



It’s absolutely not the sort of thing I like to say, especially about a club that is as massive as they are and has a pedigree up there with the best of them, but beating Sunderland at home surely has to be classed as a banker game for us doesn’t it????

I see Tim Sherwood has played the game down somewhat, saying that it’s too early for “must-win” games and I can understand where he’s coming from, in trying to alleviate any pressure on the lads.
But for me, this is just one of those games where if you don’t beat them at home, who do you expect to beat?
Plus Sunderland have a poor record against us recently, which is about right, even though they eventually finished above us last season.
They looked truly shocking at times, particularly in defence; Even worse than us in my opinion and that’s saying something.

Dick Advocaat played a blinder in keeping them up and with 20-20 hindsight, he should have retired at the end of the season, just as he said he was going too, as it would appear he was promised serious money to spend, only for Ellis Short to seemingly go back on that.
I think they’ve spent around £10 million net in the window and you get the feeling that just isn’t enough for a club in their position.

Just to continue the tone about what a mess they’re in, Advocaat pulled the team in for crisis talks after the home defeat to Norwich. Yes, even this early in and just after their second game. If that’s not a team in trouble, I don’t know what is.

Injury news then and Sunderland have Adam Matthews out with an ankle injury.
Adam Johnson has a shoulder injury, but the rest of the squad are fit.
They’ve also just signed Ola Toivenen, a midfielder who could step straight into the team.

As for the Villa, Adama Traore is a bit doubtful and it’ll be a tomorrow morning thing.
Possibly more worryingly, there’s a bug going round Bodymoor Heath and two players, who Sherwood didn’t name, are suffering from it.
My money says Gabby will be one of those two, as he doesn’t really seem to get “dropped”, does he?
Anyway, such is the nature of bugs, so it might affect anyone tomorrow. Let’s hope not, eh?

So, what to think?

Given Sunderland’s awful defence, you’d have to expect that we will go for them, especially with Sherwood’s natural penchant for attack.
Same as many of you, I’d expect Gabby to be “ill” and Sinclair to be rewarded with a start after his midweek exploits, in his place. Probably combined with Gestede, as an aerial threat should achieve something against a poor defence.
The only question to ask is based around the midfield and we have a fair choice there, so perm any combo you like, although I’d expect Grealish and Traore to start, if fit.
Sanchez sits as the holder and the defence probably speaks for itself, although they’ll need to be on their toes as Defoe still looks very potent on his day.

While I’ll be content with a 1-0 win, I certainly won’t be happy.
I expect an emphatic win, let’s say by two goals.
3-1 it is then, as I always think we’re likely to concede.
Although predicting a win worries me after the last few seasons, I have to admit.
How many times have I done so and it’s gone against us?

As for Jolien Lescott, it’s looking likely he’s coming and that’s a decent signing for me, especially at the money we’re talking about (around £1 mill or so).
And just as Sherwood says he doesn’t expect anyone in, so I think we’re still in the hunt for a striker.
We’ll see, no doubt.


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  1. B6
    B6 August 29, 2015 at 5:11 pm .

    We missed Gabby today! 😉

  2. Jb
    Jb August 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm .

    Fuck lescott at 33 and some stupid wage. Stump up 8/9 m and get van dijk whose miles better than Clarke and can complement Richards as he can play the ball from the back. Net spend 10m so far and for those who think are wage bill is up your idiots.

    Get him and Austin, season will be decent and given all the ages of the squad, will not need to go overboard spending next summer. Why wait, avoid buying what we need, and then make them lose confidence doing a relegation battle

    1. Guest
      Guest August 29, 2015 at 5:24 pm .

      There isn’t going to be a relegation battle, we are far better than last season, we just need to gel a little more, we played some good football today and the stats show we were the better side, chill out.

      1. Bill Pearson
        Bill Pearson August 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm .

        Well said Guest, Stop panicking lads look how exciting it was last year I’ve grown my finger nails back and got plenty to chew on, cause we won’t be relegated ,we are a better side, albeit mid table will be our ending.36 hours to get them last two players.

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath August 29, 2015 at 5:51 pm .

        I said before season started it will take a dozen or so games for players to bed in. We have made wholesale changes so not going to happen over night. Let’s judge around Dec time

    2. bencey83
      bencey83 August 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm .

      Would definitely go for van Dijk and Austin!

  3. jvillan
    jvillan August 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm .

    lerner has spent pennies compared to most other clubs our wage bill has gone down now
    guzan hutton clark westwood are all weak points in team over a third of starters
    gestede is not pl class yet might never be but should have been subbed today after 60 min mark
    westwood cannnot play in same team as sanchez,to similar but not as good fairly easy chance he had and missed it
    we have no leader bawling other players out or ref pantilimon was wasting time from they scored and noboby moaned
    we need big 72 hous from fox sherwood get austin lescott maybe a winger lerner you will lose massive if we struggle

  4. bencey83
    bencey83 August 29, 2015 at 5:29 pm .

    Thought we were in for Abdennour! Now reading he’s of to Chelski! Don’t know why we would bother with the likes of Lescott or Adebayor?!

  5. bencey83
    bencey83 August 29, 2015 at 5:31 pm .

    Better off forking out a few more quid for a younger player who you’re going to get a few years out of!

  6. bencey83
    bencey83 August 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm .

    Only 6 shots on target, but nice to see us creating chances. We were without our two best creative players in Grealish and Traore. I’m still hopeful we will improve.

  7. bencey83
    bencey83 August 29, 2015 at 5:42 pm .

    Summary of games so far:
    – Bournemouth: hard earned 3 points, probably didn’t deserve anything
    – Man Utd: created very little, but probably deserved a point
    – Palace: well worth a point (2 points lost)
    – Sunderland: created more chances, deserved 3 points

  8. billys boots
    billys boots August 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm .

    ill stick my neck out here and say we don’t need Austin, for three years we have had an out and out striker far better than Austin and it didn’t do us any good, we do need some sort of partnership forming in defense mind, in Tim i trust

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath August 29, 2015 at 6:13 pm .

      You have a point. Problem is when you have a main striker like Benteke or Austin that gets 60-70% of goals it makes it easy for opposition. As all they need to do is mark that player out the game and they should keep clean sheet. Also they are more likely to miss lots of games via injuries and suspensions. And team over rely on them. I’d rather have a team where we have 3-5 regular scorers than one main one

  9. bencey83
    bencey83 August 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm .

    Benteke would score a bagful of goals with Gil, Grealish, Traore and Sinclair playing alongside him and I think the other 4 would also score a few each,

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath August 29, 2015 at 8:10 pm .

      He’s only scored one goal for Liverpool in 4 games and that was offside!! That is with players like Courtinho and Milner in the side. Not sure how you worked that out.

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