PREVIEW: Blackburn come to Villa Park

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McGinn scores two against Nottingham Forest

Aston Villa returns to Championship action this afternoon with Blackburn Rovers the visitors. Villa are currently on a 5 match unbeaten run, winning their last 4 games.

Despite our upturn in form, I am still finding it hard to get carried away. We have been here before. Players become more confident, they talk to the press and post positive social media comments then wham! A defeat from out of nowhere.

Dean Smith has spoken about false dawns recently and that we must take each game as it comes. He is spot on with this. Consistency has been a problem for some time, especially against those we are expected to win.

I am quite superstitious were Villa are concerned. I won’t even place a bet on Villa. If we win, I try and go down the same route I did in the previous game. I am sure I am not alone with stuff like this. Matt Maher posted a tweet this week (see below) and the second I read it, I thought home defeat:

THE OPPOSITION

If you asked Blackburn fans for a season like this in the summer, they would have snapped your hands off. They currently sit 16th in the table and can enjoy the rest of what this season has to offer. Blackburn shouldn’t have to worry about relegation and playoffs is no more than a distant dream.

The 17 points they have picked up on the road, represent where they are in the table. Their biggest problem away from home has been the goals they have conceded. 42 is more than anyone else in the division.

Mowbray likes to keep the opposition guessing as he likes to rotate his team around. They like to play through the middle and will try to play through balls when possible. Rovers also play a high line as they try to play the offside rule. With the pace at Villa’s disposal, it could really work in our favour if we get it right.

TEAM NEWS

Tuanzebe is available against BlackburnThe talk this week has been about the return of both Axel Tuanzebe and Henri Lansbury. Both are available for selection and I would expect to see them on the bench.

Abraham is fit and available to play after returning from international duty early with calf and groin problems.

Blackburn will be boosted by the returns of defenders Amari’i Bell, Charlie Mulgrew and Darragh Lenihan. Midfielder Jack Rodwell is also available for selection.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Predicted XI: Steer; Elmohammady, Hause, Mings, Taylor; Hourihane, McGinn, Grealish; Green, El Ghazi; Abraham.

Kick off: 15.00
TV: AVTV (Outside the UK)
Venue: Villa Park
Tickets: Estimated 37,000 (Tickets still available)
Odds: Aston Villa 8/13 Blackburn 4/1 Draw 16/5 (SkyBet)

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