FULHAM -v- VILLA
Bruce takes Villa into a tricky away fixture off the back of a rather disappointing display at home to Reading.
The Reading defeat (3-1), the first since Huddersfield (away), brought to an abrupt end a startling run of recent form.
The previous weeks draw at Burton saw our outside hopes of snatching the final playoff spots extinguished. So it’s been a mixed few days to reflect upon at Villa Park, after a rollercoaster campaign.
Fulham remain within striking distance sitting in 7th, just two points behind Sheffield Wednesday who occupy the final playoff spot.
As such, the hosts will obviously have our visit marked as must win.
- A win for Fulham would be their 3rd in a row.
- Won with 10 men against Norwich last time out.
- Neil Taylor likely to be absent again [groin].
- Villa beat Fulham in the reverse fixture.
- We’ve won just 1 in last 10 trips to Craven Cottage.
- Villa have managed just 2 wins in last 9 away from home.
- Taken just 18 points from 21 games on the road.
- Last won away from Villa Park on a Monday vs. Liverpool (2009)
- Last goalless game at Craven Cottage was in 2011 (against us!)
- Fulham have won 1 of last 4 at home.
- Hosts are joint top scorers in The Championship.
- 2nd game in last 48 hours for Villa due to late Reading game.
- Win could take Villa as high as 9th (61 Points)
- Almost 4000 Villa fans will make the trip in a sold out allocation.
- Kick off is at 2:45pm & can be watched on Sky Sports 1.
We’ve been asked to play twice in 48 hours which is a huge advantage to Fulham,
However, we have deal with it.
We don’t want to start making excuses.
We’ve got Fulham, who are arguably the form side at the moment.
We have to make sure that we are ready and, physically, be in as good condition as we can.
[Quotes: Official Site & B’Ham Mail]
At best we might hope that Villa can stifle Fulham’s ambitions and come away with something.
We have to fear that the hosts intent towards the playoffs and our squads appetite for a fight given the season being over will play a factor.
Expect to see Villa’s squad rotated [given the proximity to the Reading game] and peripheral figures also being given a run.