Villa go into a massive weekend fixture in great form, on the back of five straight league wins. It’s now time to cement our playoff ambitions, with Steve Bruce and Sheffield Wednesday our next opponents.
However, whilst recent performances and victories have been excellent, it’s served only to get us back amongst the chasing pack for playoff contention. We need to consolidate this at every opportunity.
It will not be lost of supporters that back-to-back wins for Bristol City, using their games in hand, saw them leap-frog us into 5th. Derby, a place below, can push us to seventh if they seize upon their additional game too.
Smith must therefore take this rejuvenated Villa side to Hillsborough, face off against our former boss Steve Bruce, and come out the other side as the victor.
Three points, are quite simply, a must.
Contributed by: Korben O’Brien | Editor: Dan Rogers
We are back on our travels this Saturday Afternoon as we face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Victory over Blackburn last time out stepped up our promotion bid with a history-making win which should have been comfortable, but was ultimately very tense.
Tammy Abraham’s 22nd goal of the season, plus a fine Tyrone Ming’s header, put Dean Smith’s side in control although it became an edgy finish after Amar ‘I Bell reduced the deficit in the 74th minute.
This was Villa’s fifth consecutive win, a feat we’d never achieved previously in the month of March.
The opening goal for Villa was sheer perfection, John McGinn’s astute vision and Anwar El Ghazi’s precise low cross left Tammy Abraham with a straightforward tap in from close range.
He’s only with us on loan, but what an important asset Tyrone Ming’s is proving to be.
Once again, the Bournemouth centre back was a tower of pure strength at the heart of Villa’s back four, clearing the ball every time when called upon but also displaying classy composure alongside Kortney Hause.
And Mings was equally effective at the other end of the pitch, contributing a headed goal that would prove to be the match winner.
Dean Smith covered a range of topics in his weekly press conference one of them being about how the season’s climax is back in our hands.
It’s important, but you’ll always have one more performance that you’ve got to go and put in.
Chester, Elphick & Hutton
Dean Smith said
I’m still hopeful they’ll all feature at some point this season.
They’ve all being knocking on my door, waiting to be involved.
We’ve only got a month of the regular season left, hopefully a bit more after that.
They provide healthy competition and its credit to the medical staff that they’re back on time.
All three miss out Hutton (ankle), Elphick (foot) and Chester (Knee).
John McGinn sat out training on Thursday, doing light work in the gym instead as the first team braved the elements, but the former Hibs man could feature.
Wednesday will give us a very tough game and a tight game also, but I think that with confidence brimming at the minute, Villa will win it and gain even more momentum by picking up all three points at Hillsborough.
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Aston Villa – with Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi to be on the scoresheet for Villa.
Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Aston Villa – Tammy Abraham will get the only goal.
- Sheffield Wednesday league position (11th) (56 points)
- Aston Villa league position – (6th) (60 points)
- Sheffield Wednesday form – DDWWD
- Aston Villa form – DWWWWW
- Aston Villa face former sacked manager Steve Bruce.
- Bruce is unbeaten since joining Wednesday in February.
- Villa have won 4 of last 5 at Hillsborough.
- Former Villan Barry Bannan is in form with 5 assists since Feb.
- Villa could go as high as 5th with a win.
- A heavy defeat would see us fall to a remarkable 10th.
- The bookies favour Villa: 13/10