ROTHERHAM -V- VILLA
Who would have thought that Villa would find themselves not only on a run of six consecutive wins, but also the opportunity to put themselves firmly in the playoff push driving seat?
Remarkable really, in the context that just a few short weeks ago as a collective we were reflecting awkwardly upon Dean Smith’s struggles. A run of just two wins in fifteen and the threat of a dead rubber seasons end; all but a distant memory.
After the excitement of the closing stages of our win at Hillsborough, one hopes that we approach the Rotherham game professionally, but see fit to put our hosts to the sword before added time.
It’s better for the mind, soul and blood pressure.
Korben O’Brien again obliges with this midweek Match Preview:
Villa struck twice in injury time to seal a 3-1 victory at Hillsborough and made it six wins a row.
Albert Adomah edged Villa ahead in stoppage time before Tammy Abraham snatched all three points.
Villa had fallen behind as early as the sixth minute before drawing level. Goalkeeper Jed Steer saved Steven Fletcher’s 57th minute penalty to prevent Sheffield Wednesday from retaking the lead.
It was Villa who made the brighter start, seeing plenty of the ball but it was the hosts who took the lead through Gary Hooper.
While goals win games, Villa will no doubt be very thankful to the work of Jed Steer for his crucial intervention in the second half. The stopper produced a fine, double-fisted save to keep out Steven Fletcher’s penalty. A turning point in proceedings perhaps?
Injury time delight
Having come off the bench to make a difference up at Stoke last month, Albert Adomah repeated the feat in Yorkshire. As Jonathan Kodjia’s effort was parried away by the Wednesday stopper, Adomah was in the perfect place to capitalise and find the net.
It was double delight in added time, with the clock ticking down, top scorer Tammy Abraham was played in on goal.
He adjusted his body before squeezing the ball under Kieran Westwood to seal the win and sent the travelling support into bedlam.
Tammy Abraham remarked that the last-gasp victory over Sheffield Wednesday perfectly sums up the new winning mentality of Aston Villa.
Abraham insists that training at Bodymoor Heath sets the tone with every player giving it 100% every single day and that all are always striving to impress. This appears to be an approach that’s being carried into games, with two injury time goals ensuring the weekend delivered a sixth win in succession.
Tammy told AVTV:
It’s unbelievable. You can’t describe those moments.
This is what takes teams to the next level.
You might not have the best game. The other team may be dominating.
But with just moments left in the game, you have to make those opportunities count and take those chances – and we did that.
On Rotherham the 23 goal hit-man said:
We can’t take Rotherham for granted.
We need to go there all guns blazing.
We have to start like we finished this weekend.
This Wednesday evening Villa face a Rotherham side who have won three out of their last six championship games, but are also fighting relegation at the wrong end of the table.
Our hosts will be missing defender Billy Jones through a hamstring injury but Joe Mattock, previously a doubt, will feature.
Rotherham beat Forest in their last game and have just one defeat in their last five at home.
My prediction for Wednesday’s game will be that it will be another tough game as Rotherham are fighting relegation but I think that Villa will be too strong and have too much confidence and momentum going into the game. Villa will make it seven games unbeaten and will take all three points.
Result: Rotherham 0-2 Aston Villa – with Tammy Abraham and John McGinn to be on the scoresheet for Villa.
Rotherham are fighting for their lives, and whilst one of the top scorers amongst the strugglers (43 goals), are battling to keep them out too (-25 goal difference). By contrast, we have shored up considerably at the back and also look rampant going forwards. Grealish remains a pivotal figure, but John McGinn is the engine room, with Mings a force from the back. Villa have the quality and the incentive to make this a long ninety minutes for the hosts.
Result: Rotherham 0-4 Aston Villa – with Tammy (2), Mings & Hourihane on the scoresheet.
- Rotherham league position – (22nd) (39 points)
- Aston Villa league position – (5th) (63 points)
- Villa are unbeaten in the last five fixtures vs Rotherham
- Rotherham form last 8 = W3 D2 L3
- Aston Villa form last 8 = W6 D1 L1
- Kortney Hause is a doubt, Tuanzebe may deputise.
- Elphick, Chester & Hutton are either injured or not match fit.
- Lovre Kalinic may return to the bench following injury.
- Villa last lost away to Rotherham in 1961. JFK was inaugurated as President of the USA the same year and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to fly in space.