The stage is set. Aston Villa against Wolverhampton Wanderers is a massive game for both clubs. With 1st playing 3rd, it is two promotion hunting teams coming up against each other. If Villa were to win, then it would close the game on the top two in the division for the last 10 or so games of the season. Added to that it is a Midlands derby with an evening kick-off, the anticipation is building and the atmosphere will surely be fever pitch by 5.30.
The league table could have a whole new complexion come Saturday evening. Last month Wolverhampton Wanderers were out on their own at the top of the league but now they appear within touching distance. With Fulham on an incredible run of wins, it is shaping up to be a four horse race for the two automatic position and someone needs to step up and make the stage there own.
Cardiff and Fulham are the form teams in the league and look to have the momentum to maintain the most serious challenge to the top spot. It seems as though that every team hits an excellent run of form – Villa with 7 wins in a row for example. And conversely, every team hits a patchy run of form – see Villa in December. It’s about picking up points when playing badly and maximising the returns when playing well.
Looking at the remaining fixtures, it seems that Villa and Fulham have the favourable fixtures.
Villa only has three teams left to play who are in the current top 10, Wolves, Cardiff and Derby. However, Fulham has the easiest run-in on paper. The London side only have to play two current top 10 sides in Preston and Brentford.
Our promotion rivals Wolves and Cardiff have potentially much trickier games. Wolves still have to play Villa and Middlesborough and also face a 3 match sequence of Cardiff, Derby before a derby against Birmingham. Whereas Cardiff have to play 5 current top 10 teams in Brentford, Derby, Sheffield United, Wolves and Villa.
There will be plenty of twists and turns to come and inevitable lots of ‘if’s and ‘but’s’ as we near the end of the season. Villa have placed themselves in a great place, the run-in looks encouraging and our form is good. The stage is set for a cracking finale to the season. We need to keep looking up and see where it takes us.