As Villa embark on their first Monday night fixture in a long time, many of the claret and blue faithful find themselves hoping that the blue moon of Manchester City will be sinking rather than rising at the final whistle. With 11 games to go and after a spirited but ultimately frustrating result against Arsenal last weekend, Villa really need to start winning ugly. It’s all well and good dominating the game for long periods but it will be points that keep us in the premier league, not performances. I speak for many when I say that a scrappy 1-0 win would go down a treat right now.

The Holte End look set to welcome back Shay Given, Ron Vlaar and Chris Herd to the squad for the match against the current Barclays Premier League champions. However, I would only anticipate one of the trio to play a part in the match, our captain. In my opinion an attacking philosophy would be best in this game due to the media pretty much writing us off before a ball has even been kicked. Southampton showed the other week that the back line of the champions is not the strongest, and that’s coming from a villa fan. Benteke will cause problems up front if his head is in the game, N’Zogbia will supply the ammunition from the wings and Weimann will do his poaching best as always.

However, there’s always the chance that City could have something to play for. If Man United fail to get a maximum haul against Norwich at home on Saturday, then Mancini’s men will be filled with renewed optimism and desire. Not a good combination if you are fighting for your lives at the foot of the table. Whatever the outcome on Monday, there are two bigger games coming up after this one in the shape of Reading and QPR.

The task that Villa face is an uphill one, as Bwin show, based on some of their odds for the game:
Villa to win 2-1: 18/1
Benteke to score first: 9/1
Finally, one for the most optimistic of Villa fans… Weimann to score first and Villa to win 3-1: 500-1!

Villa park will be rocking on Monday and it may end up being the deciding factor when it comes to points gained rather than lost.



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