17 Comments

Derby Day Preview & Warning For ‘Houllier Out’ fans

Preview from regular contributor ‘villaman42’ the last paragraph I disagree with but will be irrelevant as a victory is assured !

This Sunday marks a big day for Aston Villa Football Club and despite some people claiming it be, I do not see this as a game that is a must win claiming that whoever loses will go down. No doubt this is a big game but both teams can easily stay in this League, after Sunday, win, lose or draw, we will still have 16 games to get ourselves out of trouble. The good news for Villa however is that the majority of those fixtures are games we should win.

Moving onto the Birmingham game though and Alex McLeish will play a solid team. The bad news is Lee Bowyer is back from suspension. The good news is they are missing Scott Dann and Ben Foster’s confidence has been rocked from the League Cup Semi Final 1st Leg. Villa injuries news sees Luke Young miss out again with an ongoing knee injury and Emile Heskey will miss out through suspension along with Ashley Young. The good news for Villa though is that Fabian Delph could return to the squad.

Aston Villa go into the game looking for revenge after Birmingham’s lucky win over us in the cup when we had winning goals from Ashley Young and Stephen Ireland cleared off the line twice only for Blues to run down the other end and have Zigic’s shot hit the floor, deflect off L.Young’s leg, looping up over Friedel (who did get a touch) but just couldn’t keep it out. However tommorow is a different story; for that game we had Petrov, Delph, NRC, Heskey, Albrighton and Weimann all out injured. Also Collins (Calf), Carew (Knee), Cuellar (Knee) and Agbonlahor (Knee) were not fit to play, neither was Stephen Ireland who was ill all week leading up to the game but all were still named in the 18 simply because they had to be.

This time Albrighton plays Blues for the first time, Clark is back in midfield, Petrov and NRC are back, Collins, Cuellar and Dunne are back to full fitness and Weimann, Delph and Gary Gardner should all come into consideration having all impressed recently.

The Villa lineup will be a tricky one, Houllier said he ‘hoped’ Carew would be fit to face Birmingham but it would be a surprise to see him start considering he didn’t feature for the reserves in their incredible 10-1 over Arsenal. But then again neither did Warnock, Beye, Ireland or Delph. The one thing you can be sure on however is that this is a time that Villa go to St Andrews for the first time this year confident of a win because we have options this time. We could go 442 with Carew coming back in, or we could go 4411 with Ireland replacing Ash, although neither of those are expected. The starting 11 really does rest on one question, is Makoun going to be available for the game? My predicted line up would be as follows:

Friedel

Walker
Cuellar
Dunne
Clark

Albrighton
Petrov
NRC
Makoun
Downing

Agbonlahor

Bench: Marshall, Lichaj, Collins, Gardner, Bannan, Fonz, Carew,

Should Makoun not make it then it would most likely be Barry Bannan starting the game in his place but I do not see Carew starting the game, although I hope I am wrong because I really think with Dann out that it is the perfect game to bring him back into. Agbonlahor and Carew V Johnson and Ridgewell is a miss match and one central defense that Villa would easily cause a lot of problems.

The need for points at Villa is massive at the moment but I do not see this as a must win because with so many easy fixtures still to come we can and will easily climb away from this position, I’m thinking about Europe, not relegation! This will be a big game for both clubs but Villa need to focus and put 120% effort into it otherwise we know exactly what will happen. We need to focus for the full match, not drop off towards the end like against Chelsea. Keep a clean sheet and win the derby and I dare anyone to say Villa will not go on a run after it because we will!

One final thought, with Ashley Young out I don’t know how many Villa fans are pleased with that news but in a way, I am. Ashley Young has been playing in the hole all season and apart from half an hour or so against WBA I can’t think of one game that he has done well in that position. Lee Bowyer would force Ash off the ball too much in the Derby Sunday but it seems Houllier unfortunately doesn’t see Ash as a winger. Maybe he will improve there with Makoun in meaning Ash doesn’t have to drop deep so much to pick the ball up and help out and so will have a free attacking role from now on but against Blues I don’t see Ashley Young having a good game, if he was out wide I would be saying different but in the middle? Not for me.

Let’s hope we get 3 points then, Houllier has a great record for Derby games, so do Villa, we have so many players back now and so many Villa fans in the lineup (so you can count on the lads being up for this one!) Remember although we lost in the cup we did outplay them! We can win this, we will win this and with the noses not even willing to go with FREE tickets their crowd will be poor where as we will be rocking! UTV!

(Reminder – If by some absolute fluke Blues somehow manage to beat us again, a message to all the ‘Houllier Out’ people. Kyle Walker and now hopefully Jean Makoun coming in, the man clearly has sense and clearly is doing good for the club. If we play extremely poor then do what you like but if we play well and lose then don’t start slating Houllier because he does seem to be putting everything into Villa and I think he will succeed. Just look at the fixtures left and realise that the majority of the hard games are gone and we will survive).

17 comments on “Derby Day Preview & Warning For ‘Houllier Out’ fans

  1. Why dont we play 10 men brad in defence and start with ash?

  2. Shit on the City

  3. i’m a bit confused when you say Clark is back in midfield but you ‘play’ him at LB….

    Agree that we could do with Carew against their CBs, ideal game for him and really it is time for him to stand up, he’s been poor when playing this season. I think we have enough to beat em and think we will. Tight game though.

    • Sorry about that mate, was writing it when reading all the Makoun stuff last night and made a couple of typos in there. Apologies. Meant to say Clark is back in defense.

    • I don’t really rate Clark in midfield, mainly because we have so many midfielders! I think he does at better job at the back, mainly at CB, but he isn’t a bad second choice LB either.
      We have 14 midfielders.
      2 lefties (Young and Downing)
      2 righties (Albrighton and Pires)
      and the other 10 play in the centre (okay so Herd, Osbourne, Salifou and Johnson don’t feature)
      Do we really need more midfielders? Houllier would have to sell a few I think… (Pires, Ireland)

      Line up vs Shitty:
      gk: Friedel
      rb: Walker
      cb: Cuellar
      cb: Dunne
      lb: Clark
      rm: Albrighton
      cm: Petrov
      cm: Reo-Coker
      lm: Downing
      st: Agbonlahor
      st: Carew
      subs:
      gk: Marshall
      rb: Lichaj
      cb: Collins
      cm: Bannan
      cm: Delph/Ireland/Pires
      st: Delfouneso
      st: Weimann

      Give Carew an hour or so and bring on Weimann/Delfouneso, or if Aggy’s having a mare, take him off.
      Take off NRC/Petrov late on.
      Keep a substitution spare incase of sending offs…

  4. Reo-Coker are you out of your mind?

  5. Nice article… one thing with that line up is I don’t see the creativity in midfield and will rely too much on balls from the wingers. I think this is where we have been going wrong as gabby is not good in the air!

    If we have Makoun then drop NRC or Petrov and play Bannan / Ireland or even delph in there as they will offer a lot more up front.

    sooooo hope we smash the shit! It’s exactly what we need at the minute. 4-1 Villa!!

    • Good point, like I said in the article though, if Makoun doesn’t make it in time (which he won’t) then Bannan would most likely replace him but if he’s fit I would rather bring in Delph for this game.

  6. Good points Villaman.

    I think Houiller is redeeming himself in this transfer window to a certain extent and hopefully we will be a much stronger team come Jan 31st. It proves right those who said he needs to be given time.

  7. I can feel a 1-0 to us coming on……… with Gabby doing the damage again……

    http://newsthump.com/2010/12/02/rioting-birmingham-city-fans-cause-thousands-of-pounds-worth-of-improvements-to-st-andrews/

    Have a look at this news story about the sty and its improvements!!! lol lol lol

  8. sorry but have the completely disagree with your comment/paragraph on ashley young!

    am i glad he is out no ! Because the games he has not played in it has been clear we missed him and when he is back in the side we look alot more threatening not to mention he does earn us a hell of a lot of free kicks🙂

    so i will disagree with you on that ! and i will also disagree with you on it not been a must win !

    this game is a must win ! the longer we go with out a win the teams around us get further and further away making it even harder for us to get out of the bottom 3 so personally i think your comment is rubbish ! if its not a must win again are local rivals and they win that put them further away meaning then you have to win 2 games to catch up with them providing they was to loose so on these grounds your comment makes no sense ! We need to win are last 70% of games allowing .

    when your in the bottom 3 every game is a must win no matter how many games you have ahead of you ! the longer you stay down the bottom the harder the games become and the lower the team moral gets !!!

    • I think we need to win 7 to be safe with a couple of draws thrown in for good measure. We have quite a few ‘weak’ teams to play at home where are kids are much more comfortable.

  9. good to see a few reo joker knockers on board ! Wouldn’t play him in the 3rd team never mind at the sty , Wanker

  10. I don’t see any problems with Reo-Coker, he has put in some good performances with plenty of grit and determination, when others haven’t (i.e. Sunderland the other week)

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