When Villa beat Burton on Boxing Day, the ground-work felt as though it had been laid to enable the club to mount a promotion challenge
As things transpired, we struggled really badly in both January & February, even briefly flirting with a relegation battle.
Contrast that to recent form. An unexpected resurgence.
7 wins in 8 speaks volumes about just what a turnaround it has been:
Derby, Bristol City, Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan, Norwich & QPR have been despatched.
This turnaround in fortunes also amazingly kept alive faint hopes of a remarkable late surge for the final playoff spot.
Whilst most of us are realistic, the games continue to be won and the points/place gap continues to narrow.
Stranger things have happened in football and Villa certainly shouldn’t give up until mathematically impossible.
- 7 wins in 8 for Villa.
- A win would be the 5th consecutive victory.
- Villa have won 2 of last 3 away.
- We do though have just 4 wins away all term.
- & are still lowest ranked away attack in division (24th)
- Villa can go as high as 9th with a win.
- Burton are 19th & 4 pts clear of relegation.
- Hosts have only lost 3 in last 10 games.
- Beat Huddersfield away last week.
- Burton have kept just 1 clean sheet in 11.
- By contrast Villa have 7 clean sheets in 8.
- Villa won last fixture on 26th December 2016 – 2-1.
Whilst Burton appear to be a tough nut to crack, so are Villa.
Further, Villa currently seem to have the knack of getting ahead and protecting the lead. It’s not necessarily pretty, but it has proven very effective in recent weeks.
Much will depend on players beyond Kodjia contributing goals, but in current form and with even the remote possibility of a playoff spot remaining, another win feels likely.
Prediction: 2-0 to Villa.
Defensively we’ve been spot on in the last few weeks. We’ll need to be again tomorrow at Burton.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, who would have thought…Burton Albion playing Aston Villa. It’s remarkable what football can do.
It’s difficult there. I’ve been there a couple of times. It’s a hard place to play. We’ll have to be at our best defensively if we’re going to get something.