Villa Preview: Ipswich Town (A) – Urgent improvement required to address 7 point total.

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The Villa Underground wrote at length after the Brentford debacle about the frustrations of not only the side’s early season form, but also the tactical approach under new boss Roberto Di Matteo.

Villa travel to Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town in urgent need of arresting a number of new habits.  Central to this is the fading of many players on or around the hour mark and the repeated conceding of goals after the 85 minute mark.

These issues have been glaring for a number of weeks now, so it’s about time that they were learned from.

We travel with Jonathan Kodjia looking potent up front, but must offset such positive against the awful news that Richie De Laet has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

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This poses an all too familiar problem at right back, poorly serviced in recent seasons by either Hutton, Bacuna or the disappointing Micah Richards.  Expect this to be an area targeted by the opposition today and in the coming weeks.

Equally unsettled is the Villa midfield.  Jedinak is lacking fitness and looked off the pace as the game progressed against Brentford.  Westwood, defies explanation.  Gary Gardner has shown nothing of the promise alluded to after loan spells and much fanfare from the academy set up.

Villa may be buoyed by the return of the impressive Tshibola and new signing Albert Adomah.  Their inclusions would be welcome on recent evidence.

Ross McCormack, an unsung positive in the Villa side will miss out after being forced off against Forest with a knee injury.  However, Jack Grealish is set to return from injury to compensate.

Villa will likely start with a familiar four pronged attack of Kodjia, Gestede, Ayew & Grealish.

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Ipswich have won 2 of their last 3 yet sit on just a point more than Villa.  Defeats this term to Brentford & Reading suggesting their inconsistency, having held Norwich & Wolves whilst beating Derby away.

Villa go into the game on 7 points from 7 games.  17th position, given the opportunities wasted over those 7 matches are unacceptable.  Di Matteo must now knuckle down and focus on the job at hand.

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