Preview: Bolton v Aston Villa #avfc

What a strange week.  The jubililation of destroying Blackburn was quickly turned on it’s head by one of the most insipid performances in years against Man City.  This, as it seems, is now part and parcel of being a Villa fan.

We go to Bolton with every reason to be optimistic.  Our recent league form has been steady, without being eye catching and a win against a resilient Bolton team would near enough end the suggestion of relegation and serve to make the table a little more paletable.

Our defence is the biggest concern.  Richard Dunne joins Carlos Cueller on the sidelines – and the suggested return of James Collins for this fixture hardly fills anyone with a great deal of confidence.  Villa’s rigidity at the back is of grave concern – one clean sheet in eighteen is the damning statistic which must be recitified come the summer.  And admire our back line for their commitment we might, but ultimately they are not good enough.

It is reasonable to assume that Bent, Young and Downing will return to the side and will provide the necessary firepower to cause Bolton some difficulty.  Jean Makoun continues his suspension and one would imagine that the competent Reo-Coker will deputise at the heart of midfield.  It would be a surprise to see a fading Petrov, minute Barry Bannan or erratic Chris Herd amongst the starters – or indeed – the subs bench against a decent unit like Bolton.

The most important thing this weekend is to restore some faith.  The fans were collectively let down by the club in the FA Cup midweek with an offensive team selection and a matching performance at Eastlands.  A win will not repair all of the damage done, nor quell the justified murmerings of discontent but it will at least be the first step in restoring a little pride.

Prediction Corner:

avfc_vilr :  Tight game – either 2-1 to Villa or a score draw.

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