Match Preview: Aston Villa v Blackburn Rovers – Can Smith begin to cement a playoff spot?

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After a short-sabbatical for the international break, The Villa Underground returns for what looks set to be an exciting end of season run-in.

Up next, Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park:


Contributed by Korben O’Brien | Editor: Dan Rogers

Villa are back in B6 Saturday afternoon for a 3pm kick off , facing Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park.

Vibrant Villa made it four wins on the trot as they climbed up to sixth place in the table after a comprehensive victory over play off ‘rivals’ Middlesbrough.

Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi made the vital breakthrough before John McGinn fired home the second just before the break and sub Albert Adomah added the finishing touch with a third goal a couple of minutes before the final whistle.

Four-Midable Form

What a difference a month makes, back in early February Villa’s play-off hopes looked dead in the water, but four wins on it’s a completely different story.

A draw at Stoke, followed by four consecutive wins, have lifted Dean Smith’s side into the play-offs and suddenly looking to secure a return to the Premier League.

No wonder our fans are in such good voice.

The Whelan Way

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Jack Grealish has been grabbing all the plaudits since his return to action, and rightly so, but let’s not overlook the fact that the graft of Glenn Whelan is a key component of this smooth-running machine.

Once again, the experienced Irish international was a commanding figure in his deep-lying role in midfield, constantly winning back possession and making accurate passes, with the Villa fans chanting his name every time he won the ball back.

This weekend Villa face a Blackburn side who have only won one out of their last six league games and are therefore struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Substitute Conor Hourihane’s goal earned a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park back in September.

Smith will be looking for three points to strengthen our play-off prospects by making it five wins out of five.

Injury Update

Henri Lansbury and Axel Tuanzebe will both be fit and available for selection on Saturday.

Dean Smith said in his press conference;

“…they have trained really well, the only thing they haven’t had of late is match exposure”.

Tammy Abraham has overcome a knock and will feature.


This weekends game will be a tough encounter.  However, I think Villa will continue gaining confidence and momentum, therefore making it five wins out of five against Rovers.

Korben’s Prediction: Aston Villa 3-0 Blackburn Rovers

With Tammy Abraham, John McGinn and Tyrone Mings  to be on the scoresheet for Villa. Prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

With John McGinn to score both.

Key Facts

  • Aston Villa League position – ( 6th) ( 57 points)
  • Blackburn Rovers league position ( 16th) (47 points)
  • Aston Villa form – DWWWW
  • Blackburn form – DLLWD
  • Villa are the leagues 2nd top scorers.
  • Rovers have lost 7 of their last 9.
  • Visitors have lost at Villa Park on each of their last 5 trips.

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