Paul Lambert return’s to Villa Park today with his Ipswich Town side almost four years after departing. Dean Smith will be hoping he and his Aston Villa side can get one up on a former manager.
We all know about Lambert’s tenure at Villa Park. Some will say he never had the finances required, others will say he just wasn’t good enough. One thing is for sure, the way he speaks about Villa, he has never got over us.
Smith, on the other hand, has experienced a small backlash from a minority of fans recently. Undeserved in my opinion but that’s an article for another day. All I know about today is that Villa must be looking for a clean sheet and three points.
Villa are on a run that has seen them win just one game in seven Championship games. There is no point even discussing the playoffs at the moment because frankly, we all know massive improvement is required.
Omegatipsters are tipping on a close game but expect a home win.
Ipswich sits rock bottom of the Championship after a disastrous first half to the season. They are seven points from safety with 18 games remaining. Lambert was named Ipswich manager in October after sacking Paul Hurst.
Under Lambert, Ipswich has won 2 games in 11 and many supporters have given up on survival. It is no real surprise that their away form is one of the worst in the division. In fact, only Rotherham have collected fewer points (4) on the road than Ipswich’s 5. Lambert will want to get one over his former employers however so you can guarantee his team will be up for this one.
Ipswich has only scored 22 goals this campaign. It is clear to see why when they average the lowest amount of shots per game in the division, 8.8.
The one thing they are good at is stealing the ball off their opponent. The problem is they usually lose it just as quickly. They have been very poor at defending set pieces so they will hope the signing of James Collins will improve this.
ONE TO WATCH
My one to watch is former Villa defender James Collins. He trained with Villa earlier in the season and tore up a short term contract after picking up an injury. As I already mentioned, Ipswich concedes too many from set-pieces and it will be interesting to see how Collins helps with this.
He has only played two games for the Tractor boys since signing but the reports have been positive. So far.
Villa will be without Jack Grealish for the 10th game in a row. He will begin light training this week. Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan have returned to training this week and are available for selection.
Ipswich are without Jack Lankester (back) and Emyr Huws (knee).