Preview: Aston Villa v Wolves #avfc

In a week of earthquakes, tsunamis and the prospect of nuclear fallout in Japan – Villa’s game against Wolves does bring things into perspective.  As Villa head into the weekend very much neither here nor there – a win against Wolves would once again have us wondering if we have finally decided to pull to safety.

The disappointment of losing at Bolton was intensified by bizarre off the field goings on at Villa Park.  But whatever happened off the pitch is largely irrelevant to how our season will now pan it.  It has been plain for all to see that things haven’t been right for a number of individuals, and regardless of whose fault it is, it has impacted upon performances in matches all season.  That is not acceptable and the club need to act by moving appropriate figures on if need be.

Focusing on the fixture at Wolves should, obviously, be our priority.  The league table once again looks extremely congested and despite sitting 13th, the reality is that we are just two points from the relegation zone.  It is not an emergency, but we are hardly coasting to the victory line.  A home victory would therefore provide much needed breathing space and take a great deal of pressure off a visit to the ever difficult Goodison Park next week.

Wolves have been an unpredictable package for most of the season.  Though they lack real quality amongst their ranks they have ground out some fine results against top sides in the league, whilst also defying all logic and managing to lose to some of the worst.  Still, the league table doesn’t lie, they sit second bottom and are unlikely to be among many peoples favourites to stay up.  Thus, Wolves are a team that Aston Villa should be beating.

However this is a local derby and Wolves are combative.  Combative in the shape of Carl Henry  who is a rough and ready midfielder not to everyone’s tastes but is effective in the job he does.  One would hope that the returning Jean II Makoun could pick up where he left off from his early Villa form in countering this; minus the red card of course.

Wolves bring the technically adept Kevin Doyle as their lead striker so fingers well and truly crossed that whomever is fit to play in our defence can see to it that he continues a less than prolific season.  At the other end Darren Bent must surely be looking at the Wolves backline as a way of making up for some wasteful finishing last time out at Bolton.

Simply put, defeat against Wolves is unthinkable.  Not only would it heap further pressure onto Houllier but it would do much to undermine much of the good work that has gone on to improve our passing game.  This is still very much a work in progress, which is all well and good if it produces a win on Saturday.  A loss would place us in a very precarious position indeed and would force a major re-think just as we are beginning to see some signs of technical progress.

But fans must remain positive.  Villa have enough creativity in the form of Downing and Young.  And in a striker of Bent’s prowess, we have justified reason to believe we have enough in the goals department.  The defence is of genuine concern, but that’s nothing new for Villa fans to worry about.  Roll on Saturday.

Prediction Corner:

@avfc_vilr: Villa to win 2-0 & a speculative fiver on Makoun first scorer. 

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