Well here we are, Villa’s final game of the season.
There will be much to reflect upon after our first season in The Championship, but the autopsy shall come later.
It’s fitting that the curtains are drawn against the side in poll position to finish as Champions. Indeed, victory over us (or Newcastle’s failure to win) would seal it.
Brighton have been the promotion “nearly” boys for a number of seasons. This campaign though, they have ploughed on, despite occasional set-backs to achieve a first promotion to the Premier League.
It is this relentless, single minded approach to winning matches which as a football club we need to foster.
- Top scorer Jonathan Kodjia is out until next season having suffered a broken ankle against Blackburn.
- Mile Jedinak likely to miss with an ongoing groin problem.
- Brighton come to Villa Park off the back of 2 defeats.
- Villa’s form has dipped since a draw at Burton. Poor defeats at Blackburn & Fulham, were only lifted by a victory over Birmingham, despite a turgid display.
- Villa have never lost to Brighton at Villa Park. Ever.
- Steve Bruce has never lost a home match against Brighton either.
- The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw. A game Villa arguably should have won.
- Villa have only lost 3 times at home this season.
- Only 3 Championship sides have worse goalscoring stats that Villa.
- Conversely we have one of the best defensive records, particularly at home.
- Villa have 6 clean sheets in last 7 at Villa Park.
- Brighton have the best defence in the league however.
- Brighton will be crowned champions with victory.
- Villa can realistically finish in 11th with a win.
Whilst it’s easy for sides to slip into ‘On-The-Beach’ mode, Villa have been outright dismal since the outside chance of promotion was snuffed out.
This has led to unexpected scrutiny of Steve Bruce and just why the team have been underperforming. This has extended to public criticism of displays from both the owner Tony Xia & CEO Steve Wyness.
Unprecedented, particularly given the stage of the season & goes some way to underlining the fact that failure is just not an option.
This final game stands as an opportunity for Villa to make a statement of intent ahead of what will be a crucial season for the club next season.
For Brighton the real prize has already been secured and whilst a title winning trophy might be nice, it will be interesting to see their motivation for achieving it. For them, the party has already begun.
Prediction: 1-0 to Villa.
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To thank you for your support, we would like you to enjoy a drink on us at the final home game on Sunday.
As you enter the stadium, please be sure to show your season card to the turnstile operator who will give you a voucher.
We expect it to be another busy matchday at Villa Park, so please arrive within plenty of time to collect your voucher before 11.15am.
If you arrive after this time you’ll be unable to redeem for your free drink.
You can redeem this voucher inside the stadium for a free drink between 10.30am and 11.15am only.
Please note the free drink will either be a bottle of soft drink or a bottle of Heineken – one per person/voucher.