With Thursday’s weak line-up and subsequent thrashing and also the bleakness of the upcoming game my heart’s not really in this preview so expect a short, half-arsed, moody and not especially analytical one.
I made it quite clear in my last piece how poor I think Villa are and although it might seem mean to keep pushing the point it’s going to be kinda hard to avoid when previewing our game against them. Villa are without any clear style or plan. They are a defensive, counter-attack side only because it is the default for a club in their position. In attack they have a capable target man in Gestede who struggles with the tempo of the league. They are otherwise reliant on directness and individualism from a series of players (Ayew, Sinclair, Gil) who are all basically Andros Townsend on a bad day. Apart from Adama Traorè who is Townsend on steroids. And I don’t mean ‘on steroids’ in the pop vernacular of being an extreme or super version of Townsend I mean he literally looks and plays like Andros Townsend had a habitual addiction to anabolics.
Maybe it’s unfair to say they don’t have a clear style when I’ve probably watched less than 200 minutes worth of their games this season and can not bring myself to go back and watch some more in preparation for this piece – which I have done before for other teams. I did see they played a back 5 against City and according to various fantasy football and Villa fan sites (yeah, sorry) are likely to do it again. That does at least make a little sense, I’ve talked about our potential vulnerability to that system in the past. So here’s how that apparently looks in claret in blue:
Didn’t even manage to change goalie to Guzan. Fucksake.
As already stated, and I’ll try not to go on about this, we fielded the B-team on Thursday and will likely again for the home leg. Therefore this:
Although I’ve written out our standard formation I think we may see more of a 433 or even, as we did against Swansea, Eriksen as the deep playmaker in the ‘2’. If Alli is injured/rested then it’ll likely be Son or maybe Nacer; whoever, will effectively play as a forward.
As a result we will likely use our narrow front three to pin back all but their front two leaving time and space on the ball for Eriksen and Dembele to dictate the game.
We can only really lose this game from a pre-game perspective. Winning is the absolute minimum. And even within that failing to win by two or more, failing to use the opportunity to show of some style, failing to have scored before half-time or failing to keep a clean sheet would all be some level disappointment.
Whatever, I’m bored now, in lieu of a proper preview feel free to ask some questions or pose some topics to me through whatever medium and I will attempt to provide a decent answer.