Bristol City are the visitors to Villa Park today. The win for either side could see that side putting one foot into the playoffs. Defeat could possibly see one failing to make it at all. Kind of a big game, don’t you think?
There is no love lost between the two clubs. Especially between their manager Lee Johnson and the Villa faithful. They are another club who seem to have tried to create a rivalry. It may be because we took Jonathan Kodjia from them but they were looked after financially with that deal. They also took great pleasure when Joe Bryan opted for Fulham over ourselves. Strange really.
Aston Villa currently sits one point ahead of City in the Championship table although the Robins do have a game in hand.
Bristol has had another fantastic season and will be hoping this is the year they can finally take the next step to the promise land. Their away form has given them every opportunity. 34 points from a possible 57 on the road. Only 4 sides have better records in the division than Johnson’s side.
One of the reasons they are so effective on the road is because they like to break on the counter-attack. They have a never say die attitude and won’t roll over a die should the opposition take the lead.
As good as they are on the counter-attack, they concede a fair few when the opposition breaks also. Another weakness is the wing areas so our wingers will have to be at their best if we are to take all three points today.
Alan Hutton is fit and available to play after returning to training this week. Kortney Hause is a doubt and will face a late fitness test while Tyrone Mings is suspended. Mile Jedinak is expected to step in if required.
Lovre Kalinic will be out after having surgery this week. The Croatian had an operation on his knee but it isn’t expected to be too serious. Tommy Elphick is back in training but the game against the Robins has come too soon.
Bristol City have no fresh injury problems.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Predicted XI: Steer; Elmohammady, Tuanzebe, Jedinak, Taylor; McGinn, Whelan, Grealish; Green, El Ghazi; Adomah.
Kick Off: 15.00
TV: AVTV (Outside the UK)
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Tickets: Sold out
Odds: Aston Villa 10/11 Bristol City 10/3 Draw 27/10 (Bet365)