Villa will come up against a run of tough games against Midland opposition, starting this Saturday. We start with a trip to Derby County, followed by two home games against Birmingham and Nottingham Forest. It doesn’t get much easier after those either but that’s for another day and another article.
I am going to focus on this weekends fixture at Derby and as my title suggests, I’d happily take a point now. Derby are playing very well of late and sit 5th in the Championship table.
Derby have scored 25 Championship goals this season. 14 of those have come in 8 games at Pride Park. Defensively we need to be at our best. They have an explosive attacking threat. The likes of Tom Lawrence, Harry Wilson and Jack Marriot are capable of causing us a whole host of problems if they are not contained.
James Chester looked back to his best against Bolton. I am hoping it wasn’t a one-off and he has rediscovered his form. He will no doubt partner the ever-reliable Axel Tuanzebe. Between the two of them, they are more than capable of containing Derby’s attacking threat.
My confidence does wane a little when I think of the rest of the defensive unit. Alan Hutton and Neil Taylor will need to be at their very best if we are to stand a chance. Then we turn our attention to Orjan Nyland. Manager Dean Smith has openly admitted that he needs to be error-free and more consistent.
Moving forward we can be just as much a threat as Derby. We may sit 14th in the table but we have only scored one goal less than Frank Lampard‘s men.
The attacking players at our disposal could really cause problems for the Derby defence who have shipped 17 goals in 16 League games. If we are being honest, we could trouble most Championship sides on our day. The problem is, with our defence being so shaky this season, it feels like we must outscore the opposition to win a game.
Jack Grealish finally opened his goal account this season against Bolton. His form looks to have improved massively over his last two games. I am hoping that the floodgates are now open and he will contribute to goals on a consistent basis. He also got an assist the weekend and I confident that as long as he stops dropping so deep, more will follow.
Moving onto our striker, Tammy Abraham. You may judge it as being ultra critical but they Chelsea forward needs to make more of his chances. The striker has scored 4 in 10 so far this season. I am a big fan of Tammy and has the potential to be a great player. His turn and pass for Grealish’s goal the weekend were great but if he took a couple more of his chances it could make all the difference.
As said, it may seem ultra critical but you can see the potential there so you just want the best for Tammy and our team. I want him to fulfil his potential and become an even better player.
In conclusion, I would obviously love to win Saturday but it’s going to be a tough game so I would be more than happy with a point away at Derby. (As long as we beat the Blues and Forest in the following fixtures!)