The day in which the football fixtures are released are meant to be a joyful time in which fans of all teams come together and mock each other on how they have a tough start/run in and can’t wait for the easy six points against your nearest neighbours. However, if you are a fan of Aston Villa then initially you may have been getting a fair bit of stick from our noisy neighbours.
On paper Villa were due to be playing Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea for the first three games of the season and many fans were pessimistically predicting that we would have 0 points after those three. However, it may not be as bad as seems. The game against Chelsea is set to be re-arranged due to their involvement in the super cup and this would mean that our third game would be Newcastle at home, a game which I’m sure most fans would feel we could win, especially if Joe Kinnear steps in and does the pre match team talk.
Therefore the first six games of the campaign would be; Arsenal (a), Liverpool (h), Newcastle (h), Norwich (a), Manchester City (h) and Hull City (a). Now being an optimist I would say the best outcome from those six games would be to still be unbeaten and a total of 12 points obtained, and before you all say it, yes that is being extremely optimistic but here’s an explanation as to why that fantasy could possibly become a reality.
Arsenal (a) – Villa have a fairly decent record at The Emirates and have most the time managed to at least find the net when visiting the capital. In hindsight we were unlucky to lose last season after we had dragged ourselves back in the to game but sloppy defending (we’ve heard that before) cost us and we left London pointless. The first game of the season on the other hand always throws up surprises and with the new signings we have made, the stage is set to cause an upset. Prediction; 1-1 draw.
Liverpool (h) – Just like at The Emirates, Villa were unlucky to not get anything out of the home game against Liverpool last season especially seeing as we romped to a 3-1 victory at Anfield earlier in the season. Despite leading at half time, we were then behind in the space of 15 minutes in to the second half, a story which haunted much of the 2012/2013 campaign. This time around with an optimistic, joyful crowd backing them, I fully expect Villa’s players to bounce of the fans and manage to avoid defeat in the first half game of the season. Prediction; 2-2 draw.
Newcastle United (h) – As we approach the new campaign, Newcastle United have been given the laughing stock title much to the relief of Blackburn fans. The appointment of Joe Kinnear has caused controversy with Geordie fans and players alike, hasn’t it Mr Kebab. Villa should take full advantage of this fact too and if Newcastle start poorly then we have the perfect opportunity to add some much needed woe to the Magpies. Having had a 3 week break from our previous premier league match, the players should be refreshed and at full capacity to dispatch Newcastle. Prediction; 2-0 win.
Norwich City (a) – The away game at Norwich last season, for me, was the deciding factor in securing our Premier League safety and what a satisfying win it was, just ask Paul Lambert. A brace from Gabriel Agbonlahor cancelled out a Grant Holt penalty and sent the Villa faithful home with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. I expect another victory this time around as well, Norwich are yet to strengthen really (although this could change) and Villa should be able to expose that shaky defence that I saw back in May. Prediction; 1-2 win.
Manchester City (h) – Out of all the six games, this is the one in which I feel I could be concentrating more on my love for Villa then a realistic opinion. Man City appear to have been written off by many pundits so far with Chelsea being touted by many for overall dominance but with a new manager and new players, Man City will still prove a very hard nut to crack. Villa will need to play at their full potential in order to get anything from the match and the crowd could play a big part in the outcome of the match. Prediction; 1-1 draw.
Hull City (a) – The return of Mr Potato Head!! My word how we have missed mocking that fine figure of a man from the terraces during his recent time out of the Premier League. Credit where credits due and Steve Bruce has done a fantastic job getting Hull in to the top flight and deserves all the admiration that is being thrown his way. However, Villa should be beating a team like Hull if we play to our potential and I have high hopes for this season so fully expect this to be the case here. Prediction; 0-2 win.
Therefore ladies and gentlemen, if my predictions are correct (they most probably wont be) then we will be sitting on 12 points after six games and the fact that we would be remaining unbeaten heading in to another international break and that should give the players confidence to make it a good season for all concerned!
I’d love to see what you guys think of the first six fixtures, so if you want to, leave your opinion in the comments below and lets keep ourselves suitably occupied until the football season makes it much wanted return. UTV!