It’s been a mixed start for Dean Smith.
Whilst we’ve seen glimpses of promise (vs. Swansea), we’ve been brought quickly back down to earth with disappointing results & displays against Norwich & QPR.
Indeed, the scale of the task for Smith and his staff must now be apparent. They have inherited a Villa teamwith the makings of a side that can challenge, but with the reality that the squad is glaringly unbalanced.
Smith will be urgently wanting to find the winning formula again and will be hoping that a number of key players can shine as a collective rather than individually. As importantly, is that they can do this over 90 minutes, rather than 45.
The tragic events at Leicester City do though give us true perspective. It is, after-all, only football. However, the last week also serves also remind us of what can be achieved with vision, hard work and endeavour.
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- Yannick Bolasie appears to be approaching match fitness & may start.
- Birkir Bjarnason, impressive in the middle, is out with a groin injury.
- Albert Adomah has recovered from a knee injury & is available.
- Kienan Davies remains sidelined.
- Villa are currently 17th
- Bolton are currently 19th
- Villa can rise as high as 13th with a win.
- Bolton has scored just twice in the last eight games.
- The visitors managed just 3 shots last time out at Hull.
- Phil Parkinson leads the visitors – remember him from Bradford…?
- But Parkinson’s job is insecure, being booed off recently.
- Villa have never lost to Bolton outside of Division 1 / Premier League.
- If we were to lose to Bolton, it would match our losing streak in Feb 2017.
- Dean Smith has beaten Bolton every time he’s faced them.
- Bolton have lost four of their last 5, picking up just 1 point in that period.
- Jack Grealish has created 30 chances, but seen only 1 converted.
- Villa have though scored 22 goals – but have conceded 23.
- Bolton are the joint lowest scorers in the division, netting just 11.
- Both fixtures ended 1-0 last season.
- Abraham has been responsible for 3 of Villa’s last 5 goals.