Five Reasons to Be Cheerful as Villans
Aston Villa were few millimetres of white paint away from Bailey’s chip securing top spot in their Europa Conference League group. Despite not managing to win by a two-goal margin, Villa have nonetheless qualified from the group stages and have done so with the rotation of players to ensure the league form hasn’t been sacrificed. All in all, a successful start to the European journey, and the possibility to secure top spot away in Mostar.
A point secured despite a poor performance is something that fans can always settle on. The reality is that despite the lacklustre performance and poor defensive display, the referee’s spinelessness cost Villa the two points as much as anything else. A clear second yellow card deliberately ignored for Semenyo half-way through the first half undeniably had a huge impact on the match. Especially, as it was followed by another disallowed goal following a lengthy VAR deliberation; which also appears to have been an incorrect decision. Villa won’t win every game, and fans can’t choose where points are, but with two big games on the horizon, beating City would bring the smiles back to Villa fans’ faces. In the meantime, Emery has issues to iron out, but the team battling until the end for every point is a definite positive.
After another missed opportunity away from home, Villa await the visit of Treble Winners Manchester City. A win at home would see Villa rise above Guardiola’s men. The home side are boosted with the news that Rodri is suspended for the game after picking up a yellow against Tottenham. Grealish also picked up a suspiciously prompt, needless and predictable yellow, that also rules him out of returning to face his old club. But it is the Rodri suspension and possibly an injury to Doku that would weaken the City first XI most.
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FA Cup Returns
The FA cup draw has pitted Villa away at Middlesborough. Not the easiest tie, but also not the hardest, as Boro sit in the mid-table positions of the Championship. With the Premier League and Conference League surely Villa’s priority this year, one would think that Emery wants to right the Stevenage wrong and finally get Villa into the fourth round hat.
Simply The Best
From his debut penalty save against Sheffield United to his superb performance away at Bournemouth this weekend; Emi Martinez has been a hugely successful signing. He has always maintained good standards at Villa but his form since the World Cup triumph has been phenomenal. His performances live up to the many individual awards that he has collected since last December with Villa undeniably gaining points from his displays. His performance at Bournemouth was just the latest occasion for Martinez to demonstrate that Villa really do have one of the best keepers in the world at present.
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