Crunch time for O’Leary and the Villa boys. We beat Sunderland away last weekend, but then lets face facts, everyone beats Sunderland. Charlton, despite being on a bad run and not having a good record against Villa, will not be such a walk in the ‘Villa’ park (sorry!) and are doing extremely well on their travels this season. Bearing in mind Villa haven’t won back to back games in the Premiership for twelve months, the team have an awful lot to do.
DOL says: ‘If we’re going to go on a run or if we’re going to go anywhere, we need to put a run together.’ Nope, I’m not sure what that means either! I think it is the same as me saying if I’m going to win the lottery, I need to win the lottery. Maybe not. He also says that with two tough away games coming up against Newcastle and Bolton, we need the points this weekend.
He also says about Charlton: ‘Charlton are organised and solid. They play with one up front in a 4-5-1 formation and it’s a system which maybe works better away from home. At home, you’re expected to push on more.’
Alan Curbishly says: ‘Losing three on the spin happens quite a bit in the Premiership, but the trick is to stop it before it turns into a run. We have to try to do that at Villa. With our 12 games we find ourselves in a decent position. Any sort of result will keep us in there.’
Aston Villa Team News:
O’Leary admits ‘We have got most of our players back fit so I am expecting a big push now.’ Samuel has returned from a bug, Bakke is struggling with flu, Angel is available for selection having returned from a calf strain but is expected to be on the bench again. Berger is still out having aggravated his injury in training. O’Leary is likely to name an unchanged team from last weeks 3-1 win against Sunderland. (from): Sorensen, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Bouma, Milner, Davis, McCann, Barry, Phillips, Baros, Angel, Taylor, Moore, Samuel, Hendrie, De la Cruz, Jumper Jumper, Bakke.
Player to watch: Milan Baros
His finish last weekend was superb, can he now start banging them in on a regular basis? Oh, and will he get the service?
Charlton Athletic Team News:
Spector can return to the team after sitting out last weeks game against Man Utd, as per the terms of the loan deal. (from): Kiely, Young, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Spector, Rommedahl, Murphy, Kishishev, Smertin, Ambrose, Bent, Andersen, Thomas, Hughes, Sorondo, Powell, Perry, Bothroyd, Fortune, Johansson, Holland, Myhre.
Player to watch: Bent
Not scored lately, but has seven goals to his name, so given a chance, he is dangerous.
Match Facts & Stats
Villa are 15th with 12 points.
Best case: 14th
Worst case: 18th
Current form league: 16th
Home form league: 15th, 1 win, 2 draws, 3 losses.
Last six games: L W L L L W
Charlton are 10th with 19 points.
Best case: 6th
Worst case: 11th
Current form league: 18th
Away form league: 2nd, 5 wins, 1 loss.
Last six games: L D W L L L
Last season: Villa 0-0 Charlton.
Premiership record: Villa 7 wins, Charlton 3 wins, 2 Draws.
Record at Villa Park: Villa 4 wins, Charlton 1 win, 1 Draw.
Mark Clattenburg. 10 matches, 0 reds, 34 yellows.
Mystic Mug has gone all out and said a home win. 2-0. Gulp. You know what happens when he gets confident!
17/12/05 MANCHESTER UNITED.
Easy 9 points there then.