Winning at The Hawthorns to be the turning point? #avfc #wba

Optimism? Well somebody has got to have some. It might as well be here.

We will all have a week of nervousness and banter to prepare us for an important derby game. What is far more important than bragging rights, for a change, will be the points at stake.

Indeed, both teams are probably looking at this fixture eagerly. Villa obviously need to redress the slide into the relegation zone, whereas Albion are having more problems of late than a Boeing Dreamliner.

There are positives for Villa ahead of the encounter. Chances are coming for our forwards, and despite the lack of end product we carry a real threat with Benteke and Wiemann.

Also, for all the defensive woes, Southampton only managed to breach the back line through a cheated penalty last time out. Albion, look mightily suspect at the back, conceding 3 dreadful goals in the closing minutes at Reading.

Food for thought: Even Villa have managed to beat The Royals.

And the form table can be deceptive. Villa are nailed to the bottom, which isn’t a good sign. But root a little further and hope exists. Villa’s away form is gloriously mid-table.

Oh how we suddenly long for mid table obscurity once more.

So, we Villa fans must remain upbeat. Despite our flaws as a team, we are young and out to learn and grow.

Looking at West Brom what is there to fear? Lukaku is a Benteke clone. Big, powerful but needs 10 shots to score. Olson is experienced but his defending is as error strewn as our own. And Foster, well, is so calamity prone he makes Enckleman look like a solid pick.

This should not be misconstrued as big club arrogance. Villa could take a lot from Albion’s cost efficient squad building. However, WBA are by no means a force in English football. Efficient maybe; effective sometimes.

The game is there to be won. They are as beatable as anybody.

And where better to alleviate some pressure, right the ship and remind our suddenly noisy neighbours who’s boss than on their own pitch?

We can but hope.