I don’t like to admit to this but watching Aston Villa feels a bit of a chore at the moment. I am not enjoying watching the club I love. Rotherham are the visitors to B6 tonight which will be Villa’s first home game since the 1-1 draw with Reading.
We have played 7 games so far this season and already it feels like a must-win game. I don’t think grinding out a result will be enough either on this occasion. The Villa fans believe they have the quality in the squad so excuses won’t do for much longer.
A lot has been made since the result over the weekend. Bruce seems to be losing his head and looks to defend himself at every opportunity. Fans are at loggerheads about the manager and we are in danger of that negative feel sneaking back in at B6.
Rotherham will be the third side Villa will have played so far this season that had been promoted from League 1 last season. Villa has won 1 and drawn one against the other promoted sides.
The Millers will be pretty pleased with their start to the season. They have won 3, lost 4 and find themselves sitting pretty in 14th position in the Championship.
They have conceded 11 goals so far this season (1 less than Villa) although five of them came in a 5-1 defeat against Brentford. Paul Warne will hope they can improve on their goals scored having only scored 6 in 7 league goals. Only Birmingham, QPR and Ipswich have scored less (all 5).
Bruce has decisions to make after his side has failed to pick up a win in 6 games. Birkir Bjarnason will most likely feature as Bruce tends to opt for the Iceland international when at Villa Park. He failed to make the matchday squad all together against Blackburn.
Yannick Bolasie and Ahmed El-Ghazi will be hoping to start. Keinan Davis and Scott Hogan remain unavailable.
Rotherham midfielder Ritchie Towell is expected to be available after picking up an injury in the 1-0 win over Derby at the weekend. Clarke Robertson and Sean Raggett are expected to miss out through injury.
HEAD TO HEAD
Aston Villa has won 11 of the 16 games when these two have met. In fact, Rotherham has not beat Villa since 1971 when they won 2-1 at Villa Park.
The last four meetings have all ended in Villa wins, with Rotherham failing to score on each occasion.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Predicted Starting XI: Nyland, Elmohammady, Chester, Tuanzebe, Hutton, Bjarnason, McGinn, Grealish, Bolasie, Kodjia, Abraham.
Kick off: 19.45
TV: Sky Sports Football (Red button)
Tickets sold: 29,000 estimated
Odds: Aston Villa 1/2 Draw 17/5 Rotherham 5/1 (William Hill)