Aston Villa will take on Bolton Wanderers tonight in what will be Dean Smith’s fourth game in charge. Nothing less than three points I required if we are to improve on our poor start to the season.
Villa faces a run of tough games against Midland opposition in Derby, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest. Three points would be vital in order to build up some much-needed confidence.
Despite a disappointing result against QPR, we all witnessed a much-improved performance. We played a lot better than in recent times and dominated the whole game. The big problem was that we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. But now Dean Smith has had a full week in training with the squad to get across his ideas. I can’t see anything other than three points and a home win tonight. Hopefully, we can kick on from that victory and build on it.
In recent weeks I have discussed the fact that I am not a fan of Alan Hutton. Once again his performance wasn’t great against QPR (as well as the previous games against Norwich and Swansea). Now is the right time to drop him and give someone else a chance. To the fans, James Bree is the obvious contender. The fact he hasn’t really had a sniff under Smith does question what the player is like in training though.
Another potential change could be to bring in Yannick Bolasie for Ahmed Elmohamady. Bolasie had an impressive half-hour cameo against QPR and providing he is fully fit, I could see him starting. I feel he will offer us a bigger goal threat.
The only other change will, unfortunately, be Birkir Bjarnason missing out through injury. He will be replaced by either Glenn Whelan or Conor Hourihane. I would prefer Hourihane on a personal note. Either way, Bjarnason’s presence will be well missed. His energetic displays alongside John McGinn have been impressive. He is starting to look like he could become a permanent fixture in Smith’s squad.
No offense to Bolton but we need to be beating sides like Bolton. We must look to play to our strengths as we continue to build on what Smith is trying to build. I can see us putting them to the sword and winning by a two or three goal margin.
Let’s hope so anyway. Its time to really kick-start our season and build some confidence.