January was full of ups and downs for Aston Villa. This month saw 5 new players transfer into the club, a smattering of players recalled from their loan spells, a large number of players sent out on loan, and an accumulation of *sigh* 5 points. Most of the above is good news, save the 5/12 against what most would consider to have been “easier” games on the schedule.
It’s time for the new signings to test their mettle immediately, and earn those bonuses as they help drive Villa toward the top 6, and an opportunity to play for promotion to the Premier League. What’s ahead on that road? Find out in this month’s Aston Villa Points Predictor.
Aston Villa @ Reading
Reading dealt former Villa, um, villain? Leandro Bacuna on deadline day, which unfortunately means we wont get to see him fire any rocket-shots over the crossbar and into the 15th row. What we will get to watch is two sides that are desperately in need of results, for vastly different reasons. Reading currently sit in 22nd, just one point behind fellow relegation scrappers Rotherham, while Villa sit safely in 10th, albeit well behind where many would’ve expected them to be at this point in the campaign. Reading are seeking to avoid playing next season in League One, while Villa are seeking to avoid playing next season in the Championship. Villa are coming off a win, while Reading recently “suffered” a heartbreaking draw, seeing fellow relegation candidate Bolton net an equalizer in stoppage time. I think the hangover carries over here for Reading, and Villa’s talent wins out. 2-1 to Villa.
February Points: 3
Total Points: 45
Aston Villa v Sheffield United
A very early homecoming for Scott Hogan, as he will be watching from the stands as his parent club play host to his temporary club. Aston Villa will be seeking revenge after the early season drubbing at Bramall Lane. I think this is going to be the match of the month, and will be a barometer for the rest of said month as well as the overall campaign. United are a side that seems destined for the top 6, and could very well be an opponent to Villa should they reach the playoff. It’s time to prove your mettle. I genuinely believe that with Jack Grealish back (fingers crossed), the new signings, and a raucous Villa Park, this will play much like the goalfest(s) vs Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest. I think this is a wild back and forth, seeing Tammy seal the deal in the 87′ min to put Villa up 4-3.
February Points: 6
Total Points: 48
Aston Villa @ Brentford
Another match, another homecoming story line. The return of Dean Smith to Brentford. Over the course of their last few matches (league and cup), they seem to be back on track with their “Smith-ian” goal scoring ways. Villa will look to rebound defensively after conceding multiple times to Sheffield United, and I think the team gets a little over-coached in this one. Too much thinking, not enough playing of the game. This one ends in a sour tasting 1-1 draw.
February Points: 7
Total Points: 49
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- Aston Villa top Tottenham, 2-0, in New Years Day clash
Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion
Hopefully we don’t see anymore handball goals.
I’m not still bitter.
Not sure the supporters in the Holte have let this go, either.
Give ’em hell.
3-1 Villa. Probably the match where McGinn earns his much awaited ban for yellow card accumulation, too.
February Points: 10
Total Points: 52
Aston Villa @ Stoke City
I hate to say this, but this match has “hangover” written all over it. I think the team is going to over exert themselves in an effort to make an example of out West Brom, and subsequently struggle to break down the Stoke defense at the bet365 stadium. The Potters aren’t known for their offensive prowess, but they may not need any in this one. I think this goes down as a frustrating 0-1 loss.
February Points: 10
Total Points: 52
So, 10/15 isn’t too bad. That should be enough to gain a shred of ground on the top 6. (Especially if the Lions can beat both the Blades and the Baggies) I think setting our sights on 70 points is objective number 1, and getting 10 this month would go a long way toward that. Will that be enough? Who knows, but for now, continue the support and push on for results. UTV