The international break saw two emphatic wins by England and a first international goal for Conor Hourihane when playing for the Republic of Ireland. Now that is done with it is back to business with the return of the Championship. Dean Smith will be hoping that Villa can continue their rich vein of form as we look to cement a place in the playoffs.
Blackburn Rovers are the visitors to Villa Park this weekend and hopefully, we can make it fives wins from five. Complacency has often been Villa’s problem when we come up against sides we are expected to beat. Tony Mowbray will ensure that Blackburn are no pushovers.
Their away form isn’t great but they have still impressed on their first season back in the Championship. They aren’t a bad side on their day and if we aren’t on top of our game they could cause us trouble.
Reliant on others
As long as we look after ourselves then you would like to think that our fate will soon be in our own hands. As I have mentioned in my previous articles, those in and around us do have games in hand over Villa.
Bristol City will come up against Sheffield United this weekend. United have not conceded a goal since their 3-3 draw with Bristol City. Both sides have something to play for but United have one eye on an automatic spot.
Middlesbrough still sits above us despite our 3-0 win before the International break. They come up against another side fighting for automatic promotion, Norwich City. The natives have become restless towards Tony Pulis lately but they will have hope as the game is at the Riverside.
Tammy Abraham is back training which is only good news for Dean Smith. As we approach the business end of the season we need our best players fit and available. Abraham posted footage on his personal social media this week of him nutmegging Keenan Davis. Although it is a short clip, it certainly looks promising and he should be available for selection against Blackburn.
Another welcome addition is the long-awaited return of Axel Tuanzebe from injury. I would be surprised if Smith bought him straight back into a winning starting XI but he will no doubt be on the bench. It also adds further competition for places in a position that has given us so many problems this season.
If we pick up from where we left off before the international break then I can see us getting another three points. Come on Villa!