Brentford Preview: Away wins have to become the norm after Villa’s January overhaul.

Brentford Aston Villa - Photo Credit: Jim Linwood

 

We play Brentford infrequently.

So infrequently that there’s little or nothing to be gauged from those meetings other than Villa have never lost to the London club.

Records are nice to keep, but easily lost, as we have discovered all too often in recent seasons.

…ultimately it’s no more complicated than we could really do with a win.

REVERSE

The 1-1 draw at Villa Park was fought on a frighteningly muggy evening in Birmingham.

As was often the case under Roberto Di Matteo, Villa got ahead, but lacked the killer instinct and stamina to secure all 3 points.  Brentford grew into the game, worked out that we weren’t “all that” and punished us like so many have this term.

So, aside from the fact that the draw at Villa Park was disappointing, it was an opportunity to cast an eye over an unfamiliar XI if nothing else.

PERSPECTIVE

In the here and now, Villa’s league form represents a major underachievement.

The facts are the facts.

Despite a dismal relegation season, significant investment in the summer simply didn’t translate into anything that resembled progress.

Look no further than the desperate and forlorn attempts to rehabilitate Gabby Agbonlahor if you needed further proof.

Most, including The Villa Underground, can tolerate a “transitional season”.

However, the opportunity to strike at the playoffs has been flirted with, but now exists as an aspiration.  A hopeful aspiration at that!  The fact we sit in the bottom half does nothing other than illustrate how the season has been allowed to drift.

We are fast entering last chance saloon for the 2016/17 campaign, if even an outside chance of promotion is to be salvaged, winning at Griffin Park is a must.

WINDOW

Steve Bruce has had to make a significant overhaul of the Villa side a priority given this alarming and impotent league form.  The second “overhaul” in six months, ditching many of Di Matteo’s purchases on the way.

The signings of Lansbury, Bjarnason, Hourihane, Bree & Johnstone appear a great start at addressing areas of significant weakness across the team.

These new faces also bring much needed squad depth, particularly in the midfield, which has massively hindered the clubs progress this season.

KEY FACTS

  • Villa are rested, with Saturdays game against Bristol City postponed.
  • Brentford may feel the exertions of a 4-0 cup drubbing at Chelsea.
  • Mile Jedinak misses out with a groin injury.
  • All the January signings likely to feature for AVFC.
  • Brentford’s Hogan is poised to join West Ham for £15 million.
  • Hosts are on a run of 3 straight defeats.
  • Villa have lost 3 of last 6.
  • Bruce has won 7 out of his 17 games to date.
  • Brentford are better away than they are at home.
  • Villa’s away form remains dismal. Ranked 19 of 24 in the league.
  • Just 25% of Villa’s goals scored away from home.
  • Bees managed by Villa fan & ex-Walsall boss Dean Smith.
  • A win could see Villa only rise by one place to 12th.
  • Defeat risks dropping as low as 17th.
  • Reverse fixture resulted in a 1-1 draw.

The match is also live on Sky Sports 1 – kick off 7:45pm.

PREDICTIONS?

Your donations keep Villa Underground alive!Donate £1
+