As a new month approaches, our new manager must get his team ready for a difficult month. November will not be easy with games against both Derby and Birmingham fast approaching. With 12 points up for grabs, I believe we could achieve 9, but being honest, I would take 7.
We kick the month of November off against Bolton Wanderers. The game is on Friday night and will be live on Sky Sports. New manager Dean Smith would have had a full week on the training pitches with his side so hopefully, we will see a more complete performance.
Bolton currently sits 19th in the Championship. They have picked up 16 points, 9 of those coming on the road. Despite only losing one at home this season, Villa have drawn three. No disrespect to Bolton but we should be looking at nothing other than a win on Friday night.
We need the three points and Smith will know that the team need to start turning the results around soon.
The second game of November comes against Derby County. Arguably the hardest of the four games against Frank Lampard’s high flying Ram’s. Derby are currently 6th in the Championship on 25 points. They have picked up 14 of their 25 points at home.
Under Lampard, Derby have become a more solid team. Despite a few hiccups they are really starting to make a statement and will have the same goal as Villa. Promotion. Young loanees such as Mason Mount and Harry Wilson have impressed so far this season. Our defence will have to be at their best if they are to prevent them from scoring.
I don’t like to say this but I can’t see anything other than a defeat here. I would love to be wrong though, especially as I am one of the 3000 Villans making the short trip to Pride Park.
The big one. The Second City derby at Villa Park against Birmingham City. Despite a slow start, Gary Monk has really got our rivals playing. Blues have only lost twice on the road this season.
I would be lying if I said to you that I was confident. But I have faith in the boys that we can beat our local rivals. To our advantage, it is a home game and that has worked in our favour since our relegation to the Championship.
One of their best players this season has been Gary Gardner. He will be unavailable as we are his parent club but I am sure whoever steps in will want to make a statement.
I am hoping for all three points here but I am not too confident.
Our final game of November is our third home game of the moment. This time it is against Nottingham Forest. Forest have been very hit and miss so far this season despite doing some quality business in the summer.
Forest have picked up 11 points on the road this summer. At the time of writing, only 5 sides have picked up more points on the road, 12.
A familiar face in Lewis Grabban will be returning to Villa Park. It will be the first time he has returned since his loan spell ended at the end of last season. He has scored 5 in 11 League games so far this season.
I am pretty confident we can get all three points against Forest. But we will have to keep a close eye on Grabban.
How do you see November going? Do you believe we could pick up maximum points? I am going to go with 9 from a possible 12.