Aston Villa (A) | Pre-Match Thread

Result Prediction


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MAG

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Aston Villa A.jpg





Premier League Stats

We have a pretty decent record against them in the Premier League era; even going back to pre-takeover days. Since their latest return to the top flight and while Pep has been at the helm, we have totally dominated them. The Head-to-Head record between the two sides shows us winning 25 (and drawing 9) of the total 41 times that we have faced them. The Recent Meetings shows five wins out of the last five for us (and sixth being a draw) in the league.



H2H.jpg


Aston Villa have somewhat lost their way half-way through the season. The current Form Guide shows them winning just one of their last five in the league which is very different than where they were in the first half of this season. Despite the downturn in form, the Season So Far stats still put them in good stead which only reaffirms how good they were early on.


Form.jpg




Before & After

I remember writing this exact line in quite a few Pre-Match Threads lately that if you look at when the opposition last kicked a ball, we have gone on and played two more games since ... and it's true again this time. When they last played was a very long time ago and it'd be eleven days between their last kick off and this game.


Here are their before and after games:

Aston Villa

Sat 10 - 3:00pm - Liverpool (A) - PL
Wed 21 - 8:15pm - Manchester City (H) - PL
Sun 25 - 7:00pm - West Brom (H) - PL


Our two games since the last league game were just a small matter of a Quarter Final of the Champions League and the Semi Final of the FA Cup.
These are our before and after games; but I am going to deliberately put two games on either side for us:

Manchester City
Wed 14 - 8:00pm - Dortmund (A) - CL QF
Sat 17 - 5:30pm - Chelsea (N) - FAC SF
Wed 21 - 8:15pm - Aston Villa (A) - PL
Sun 25 - 4:30pm - Spurs (N) - EFL Cup Final
Wed 28 - 8:00pm - PSG (A) - CL SF





Pre-Match Thoughts

Before you read any further ... please just scroll back a little to the last section and have a good look once again at those before and after games for us ...


Now if you are one of those flappers (and there are many on here) who have been "worrying" about the league since that Leeds loss decreased our lead at the top from 14 points to a "mere" 11 ... then please skip the rest of this post because it isn't for the faint-hearted.

If that 14 points gap going down to 11 sent you shivers with only 6 games to go (7 for the team occupying the second place) then that going further down to 8 points is probably going to cause you a heart-attack ... That is exactly what I think of this game ... in my very humble opinion, we can absolutely afford to lose this game as well, just like I said for the Leeds game and Pep was right in resting all the key and in-form players then and that Dortmund win proved it. I'm drafting this before the Chelsea game today so can't say if Pep plays the same/similar team that faced Dortmund or puts his faith in those who started against Leeds and gives them a chance to redeem themselves and make way into the first choice XI for the bigger games ahead.


Suggesting though that we rest our key players against Villa is not saying I don't want us to win this game ... I am simply saying that any result in this game will not derail us winning the Premier League. And there is no chance whatsoever that any players who started last two games for us (Dotrmund and Chelsea) will start this one as well ... not because they're tired of having played those two but because of the two that lie ahead ...

Those still considering this to be more important than the cup games around and interested in finding out how we'd match up against Villa would be right in thinking we've had a hold over them from that Recent Meetings record above. It's not just those last five in the league that we've won against them but if you go further back, we are actually undefeated in last ten against them (in all competitions) and nine of those are wins for us ... with just a single draw, which too was almost six years ago.



Last 10.jpg


Villa was absolutely flying in the first half of the season and I won't give up on a chance to remind every one of the 7-2 hiding they dished out the "Champions" that included Van Dijk in their backline. They were right up there challenging for the European places till their long enforced break at the start of this year due to COVID broke their rhythm. Since their return from that their form has been very patchy, in fact poor, and no co-incidence that it has also coincided with the absence of Jack Grealish due to injury.

Going back to the importance of this game in the larger scheme of things ... in the build up to that Leeds game I wrote something to the effect that yes, we haven't yet won the title (mathematically) but we well and truly in control while the opposition is on that proverbial beach as far as the table is concerned (neither threatened with relegation, nor fighting to qualify for Europe) ... and all that is still valid for this game as well. Add to it the Cup Final ahead of this one and the first leg of the Champions League Semi Final and this game too has a very meaningless game feel to it.

Just everything has aligned yet again for not being able to get too excited for this one as a fan, and instead be looking ahead. We might have lost to Leeds in the last league game and I know that scares some of you especially if we were to drop more points here ... but sorry, I really don't care for that kind of timorous attitude because I absolutely feel we are very comfortably in charge of the league whatever the result here ... so let's get this done and
bring on the Spurs at Wembley ... and the Champions League Semi Finals. League can kind of wait till after that!




Match Prediction

I still think we'll win though ...

Aston Villa 0 - 2 Manchester City





Quick Post-Match (FA Cup Semi Final) Thoughts

Well that's the team that should have played against Villa, the one that just started today, minus KDB and Steffen ... EIGHT changes and playing Sterling, Torres and Mendy in a Semi Final? Especially after their shit show against Leeds earlier ... and a change of formation ... then that was expected right from the off. Absolutely gutted at dropping the chance of the Quadruple which I genuinely believed was very much on. And I maintain this game today was far more important than Villa (A). Pep got that wrong today I think, maybe to keep these fringe players happy ... but what's the point. That's one trophy gone ... Champions League is a hard one to win and that'd leave us with what a League and League Cup double? And if he plays a strong team against Villa and plays these fringe players again next weekend against Spurs then probably that Quad is going down to just One ... the one that we won long ago!

 

super_city_si

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28,396
Full stregth minus kev (protect) ans dias (Needs a rest).We need to put the league to bed and get some momentum/form. play the strongest available 11 from here on in with minimum rotation Based on injury/fatigue

ederson
walker stones laporte zinchenko
bernardo rodri gundogna
mahrez jesus foden
 

Millwallawayveteran1988

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This is a game we have to win as Chelsea at hone is not an easy game. We need to put this league to bed. Hope KDB is not badly injured.

Ederson
Walker
Zinchenko
Dias
Stones
Rodri
Gundogan
Bernado
Mahrez
Foden
Jesus
 

The1nvisibleMan

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Get a grip, how come you didn’t post that after Dortmunds game
Because we won? We weren’t exactly phenomenal vs Dortmund anyway but I thought hey you know what maybe we’ll keep winning. But our form and performances are dropping and if we’re rotating these players constantly then it’ll carry on
 
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