One fixture that most Premier League supporters will look at when the fixture list is released is their games against Manchester City. You want to pit your wits against Pep Guardiola’s Man City side but then you worry about what they could do to your side.
But I am sure Dean Smith won’t need telling that this is just another football game. Both Norwich and Wolves have shown that they can be beaten. Equally, West Ham and Watford will remind you that you must be at your best if you are to stand a chance.
Aston Villa used a promotional strapline of ‘fight like lions’ in recent times and never has that meant so much. As I type this I am watching the Rugby World Cup Semi-Final between England and New Zealand. We need the exact same sprit the England lads have shown in the first half (and hopefully the second).
Remember Villa, they are just another team and they can be beaten.
Aston Villa will be without Jota who had a hernia operation during the international break. The midfielder is expected back next month. Jonathan Kodjia will be hoping to be recalled to the matchday squad after recovering from injury.
James Chester is still working on his return and feature in the u23 match on Monday.
Man City have injury problems at the back. Aymeric Laporte is still missing with a knee injury as isn’t expected back until the end of February. Rodri (hamstring), Oleksandr Zivchenko (knee) and Leroy Sane (knee) will also miss out.