After losing their first two games of the 16/17 season, Villa look for consolidation and three points at home to Rotherham United F.C.
Predicted Aston Villa Lineup: (4-2-3-1)
Gollini, Cissokho, Baker, Elphick, Chester, Westwood, Tshibola, Grealish, McCormack, Ayew, Bacuna
predicted Rotherham Lineup: (4-3-3)
Camp, Kelly, Broadfoot, Wood, Mattock, Forster-Caskey, Vaulks, Frecklington, Forde, Ward, Taylor.
Location: Villa Park, Birmingham
Date: Saturday, 13 August, 2016
Kick-off: 15:00 (GMT)
Excuses can be made for Di Matteo’s performances on Saturday and Tuesday, at Wednesday they fought a hard game over 90 mins and a rare mistake gifted their opposition a win. At Luton; in David vs Goliath fashion the boys were overcome by a spirited League Two side that had claimed the likes of Stoke, Norwich and Wolves in the last few years.
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Four points are needed to solidify themselves in the top 6 of the table ahead of a tough away game at Derby. Rotherham and the Claret & Blue have met just one time, with the Villans dispatching them 3-0 in 90 mins with a brace from Benteke and a goal from Fabian Delph.
The likes of Micah Richards, Alan Hutton, Gary Gardner and Jores Okore are all likely to be booted from the starting XI ahead of high-profile mistakes that cost their team the defeat in the cup just a few days ago. New signing James Chester is likely to appear following a great Euros, a good pre-season and chronic problems in our defense. The 27 year old can play as a full-back or a centre-half, but it’s rumoured he left West Brom among problems to get a game as a central-defender. Amavi; where not making any mistakes that caused a goal, didn’t look a world beater and may lose his place to Cissokho. Bunn is likely to be dropped for Gollini and Westwood may come in for Gardner.
The Lions must make a statement of intent and develop a lead for them to defend if they are to finish Top 6 in the League. The Championship is one of the most exciting and unique leagues in Europe, full of fallen European giants, tiny Clubs just bathing in their success of promotion from lower leagues, and up-and-coming teams fighting to join the honeypot that is the Premier League. It’s a league won not by chasing; but by defending. Teams that slip and try to regain their lead or advantage over other teams are punished by relentless fixtures and varying form. It is a league however that often holds redemption, opportunities to claim 6pts in a week come often, mistakes that are made can be rectified by the players pulling themselves up and getting a result just a few days later.
I predict a 2-1 win, goals from Ayew, McCormack and Taylor. Villa are searching for their first win in over 6 months, but the attacking power of Ayew & McCormack will be too much to handle for Rotherham. Villa Park will be electric for new owner Tony Xia and new signings brought in over this already hectic summer.