WBA – Villa; Can we finish the Baggies off?

I probably should be, but am not, anywhere near as nervous about tonight’s game as I was on Saturday.
A 2-1 advantage shouldn’t really make me feel so confident, but given that we played quite poorly, especially in the first half, yet still managed to win, I’m just not particularly worried.

I think the biggest plus for us is Gayle not being able to play and although Jimmy Shan insists that Albion have very good attacking options, I just don’t think their attack will be equal to ours.

Squad-wise we’re all good and the only questions are about who Dean Smith wans to start.
The team mostly picks itself, but there are doubts about Whelan and Adomah being in the eleven.

Although many are calling for Hourihane to start after his decent performance on Saturday, it wouldn’t surprise me if Whelan starts again. That might puzzle some of you, but an away game, where the opposition surely have to come at us, probably suits Whelan better, as he’s much better defence-wise.
Of course there’s always the argument that attack is the best means of defence and Hourihane is easily the better option if we’re going to go all out.

Adomah was poor, but I’m not convinced Green did enough to warrant a start over him and I think the youngster is better as a backup, brought on to attack tiring legs.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a more open game, although Albion need to be careful they don’t open up too much.

I just think we’ll certainly have enough about us to not lose by two goals, which means I think we’ll be going through.
If we get the first goal, it’ll probably be all over.
But then, if they score first, that’ll make a real game of it.

I can see a 1-1 draw, but I’m going to go for a win.
2-1 to us.

Here’s hoping. UTV!

133 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    Big Fat Ron May 14, 2019 at 11:31 pm . Reply

    Surely, you’d like to think Terry, Jack, Jedi and anyone else who was involved in last year’s final will want to put that right with a performance? It’s got to be better than last year’s effort, hasn’t it?

    Having said that, if someone offered me a 0-0 and a win on pens, I’d take it without a second thought!

  2. Avatar
    Benno May 15, 2019 at 2:48 am . Reply

    Yes we can! Not the easy way, but at least we got there in the end!

    Funny that it was Tammy that banged in the last penalty, as he had done nothing right the whole night!

    Grealish best player on the park as always, McGinn back to his normal self and the back 4 solid again. Tuanzebe is going to be some player, lets just hope united are crazy enough to let him leave! Oh, and Jed Steer…2 great saves on the penalties to add to the save from Saturday, guess we didnt need Johnstone after all! Shame Brucey didnt see this!

    Wembley here we come….

  3. Avatar
    nath May 15, 2019 at 6:58 am . Reply

    this is a reflection and a quickie

    first of iam delighted we reached the final and still with a chance of promotion which has been the goal. but over two games with Albion, we can look back and thank our guardian angels we still reached wembley.

    both teams were poor over the two games. albion basically nullified villa and they created zero, villa tried to play their game, but for some reason they were struggling to put the finish to moves and even create clear chances something which has not been a problem all season.

    i am hoping it was the occasion of a local derby and semi finals situation which may have got to the players. along with derby determination to sit so deep and leave no spaces to villa. which could be why we struggled.

    we have to improve in the final. because leeds are still one of the best teams in this league on their day. leeds are great at nullifying the opposition as we seen over the two games we played them this season. but they will leave spaces they can not play like albion did over the two games. they have much more ambitions to win the game, as do we. so i expect a much better game overall in the final. two good footballing teams. no excuses

    sorry if my post is too depressing we reached the final, i know we did but i wasnt impressed with villa last night. i thought we owe a lot to luck in the end and steer performance in the shoot out.

    the best thing,villa will want to end the season on a better performance than that. so hopefully we go to wembley with our A game

  4. Avatar
    Pat 57 May 15, 2019 at 8:10 am . Reply

    Did that really happen? I look at my nails this morning (or what’s left of them) and yes it did.

    As to performance levels I’ve noticed before that these often drop for all teams in the play-offs as they are such pressurised games. Anyway we deserved the win last night.

    I’m finally going to make a prediction – I reckon that we’ll be playing Derby in the final. I know everyone thinks Leeds are the favourites but they’ve choked at home recently and, although they’ll have 70% of the possession they’ll lose by the odd goal.

    Wem-ber-lee, Wem-ber-lee….

  5. Avatar
    Mark May 15, 2019 at 8:43 am . Reply

    Before we start concentrating on the all important final,I just want to clarify a couple of things,in the hope that some Baggies fans, and possibly Jimmy Shan will read this and hopefully respond.
    Firstly,Dwight Gayle was not sent off for the foul on Jed Steer,he was given a second yellow card for it.He had already been warned about time wasting and,having ignored this, was given his first yellow card. His dismissal was entirely down to him.
    Chris Brunt was another to press the self destruct button and again, he has no one to blame but himself.
    Abraham’s shove on Holgate in the first leg should have been a penalty on first viewing but the West Brom full back is quite clearly looking at the ref before his theatrical dive.El Ghazi controlled the ball with the top of his right arm, by his shoulder.
    All in all, Shan’s complaint that they were victims of some unjust decisions clearly does not hold water. His team put 10 men behind the ball for the majority of the 210 minutes of football. They were beaten by a far better team.
    UTV !!

    1. Avatar
      Bum Bum May 15, 2019 at 8:59 am . Reply

      Well said. Shan is just a poor loser. You forgot we had around 90% possession too in the second half!!!

      1. Avatar
        Hitchens60 May 15, 2019 at 10:44 am . Reply

        Spot on Mark – not only poor losers with ‘we was robbed’ but also tried to get JG banned by formally complaining that he ‘dived’ for the penalty. On top of that we can point to the penalty we didn’t get when their defender was blatantly holding Abraham to stop him from turning and right in front of the ref as well!

    2. Avatar
      Hill top baggie May 15, 2019 at 11:27 am . Reply

      Hi, Albion fan here. You are in fact quite right about both sendings off, and also the penalty claim. It was a penalty, but he can be seen looking at the ref and adding to much drama to the fall. I would debate who was the better team over the two legs, but thats the beauty of the game, opinions. As an aside, based on what i have seen this season, i dont think either club id ready for the Prem, the difference being you probably have an owner who will spend some money, i dont feel we have

      1. Avatar
        Guest May 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm . Reply

        Well said.

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson May 16, 2019 at 11:51 am . Reply

    Hill top Baggie, not many would argue that fact on here, there is beyond a doubt too much of conning the ref. But I think it’s time for V C R to take over on games like ours. Last night Banford was at it again and Leeds paid the penalty of pushing and conning the ref. Albion will get up and its nice to see crowds returning to our football clubs and I like to see Midland rivalry come to the Midlands again.

  7. Avatar
    Hitchens60 May 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm . Reply

    Test

  8. Avatar
    Pat 57 May 16, 2019 at 2:35 pm . Reply

    For once my prediction about the Leeds-Derby game was right. It was case of a bad defence versus an absolutely awful one and with a kamikaze goalie to boot.

    We know we can beat Derby but we have to make sure we’re not overconfident. However, I think we’re a much better team than Derby and if they play at their flat out best and Villa play average we’ll still win.

    So I will predict the final and it’s 3-1 to the Villa.

    COYL

  9. Avatar
    Bill Pearson May 16, 2019 at 3:55 pm . Reply

    Pat 57, I only hope you’ve not put the mockers predicting the score.your right in saying one good defence and a bad forward line, Leeds,was banking on hit and run and it didn’t work. Great to see the ref hitting back on bullying in the game and warning Banford over his tack ticks, VCR will be at Wembley thank God.

    1. Avatar
      Pat 57 May 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm . Reply

      Bill, even though it’s Wembley I don’t think that they’re using VAR in the final.

      Daft I know but there it is.

    2. Avatar
      Hitchens60 May 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm . Reply

      Bill spot on about Bamford – up to his tricks again!

      I wanted Leeds in the final; Derby worry me because we will be favourites to win and they now have the momentum having secured sixth spot on the last day – how many tines have we seen the team in sixth win through the play offs?

      I know we’ve beaten them twice this season and have a good record against them but it means nothing come the final.

      1. Avatar
        Bill Pearson May 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm . Reply

        My worries Hitch, I watch the game and its plain to see they are up for it.,some of them are younger than Villa team and no mugs in going for it., I didn’t think we played well on Tuesday night Adomha missing chances and kicking high on penalties. Still in 11 days time I’m going to have a nervous brake down im bloody sure of it.

        1. Avatar
          Big Fat Ron May 16, 2019 at 10:27 pm . Reply

          I’m getting a similar feeling Hitch and Pat. Sorry to be negative! Derby have just hit form and ours has tailed off. The two wins against them mean nothing. They hadn’t laid a glove on Leeds before last night, so they know, it means nothing.

          Pat, I disagree; if we’re not at our A game, they will best us, make no mistake. If the players start thinking what you said, the 27th will be a very painful day for all. They’ve got nothing to lose. They’re underdogs and can enjoy it with the bonus of the prize if they win. We’ve got way more riding on it and will be favourites. We will need a quick start and ideally, go in leading at the break. Then they’ll need to come at us and we’ll pick them off on the break. But if they get a good start, we’ll need to not panic and not freeze, and they will also be capable of hitting on the break.

          I’m not even sure I can stomach watching it, such is the magnitude of the game and the consequences of failure. Smith and his team will need to ensure players are relaxed and focussed. Too much tension and stress is a no- no. Tactics will need to be spot on as Lampard got plenty of praise for his last night.

          Anyway, I hope the Villa that won all those consecutive games turn up!

          Over-confidence and under- estimation of the opposition are asking for serious trouble!

          UTV

          1. Avatar
            Big Fat Ron May 16, 2019 at 10:29 pm . Reply

            Hitch and Bill, sorry, not Hitch and Pat

  10. Avatar
    Bill Pearson May 16, 2019 at 5:02 pm . Reply

    Hi Pat 57 ,
    Found this your right no VAR but goal line technologies will be in play.

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?

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