In honour of Jimmy Bullard`s on-pitch finger wagging celebration, it is rumoured that the Aston Villa squad are planning to do something akin to that of the Tigers goal scorer during Saturday`s match.
Whoever scores the first goal for Villa, will be taking a cheeky swipe at boss Martin O`Neill, by running over (probably to the bench) and strangling Nigel Reo-Coker.
On the back of a fine victory over struggling Portsmouth (once more aided by Emile Heskey opening the scoring with a superb finish,) Villa face the resurgent Hull City, desperately trying to prove that they were more than one-season wonders.
A preview without bull.
Kicking things off is Villa manager Martin O`Neill talking about something far more interesting than your everyday Premier League match against Hull City, Monny has been talking trophies although this was prior to the Pompey victory.
“At Leicester when we did it, it was a great feeling for everyone at the club, not just the manager, The players were particularly excited by it and obviously the fans; it is great to win something. You ask the old Leicester players, and it does wonders for your confidence and your whole morale and it would be just the same this time.
“The history of this club would suggest we should be contesting more semi-finals and finals than they have done in the last 25 years. Brian Little did very well. I remember him telling me that to win that was really terrific and the feeling that was felt throughout the whole club was energising.”
That said, the manager has looked to at least attempt to keep our feet firmly on terra firma:
“It`s great now to be able to put the Carling Cup to one side for a few weeks after the draw.”
“We`ll wait until it`s round the corner, but at least it`s something to look forward to after Christmas.
“In terms of the league, City have gone strongly this season. Tottenham Hotspur are very strong, so it`s a tough old business.
“But we`re hanging on in there. Now we have to try and win against Hull on Saturday to keep ourselves above water.”
On the flip flop side, Phil ‘PermaTan` Brown has admitted he`s toned down his attitude a touch, apparently to save Hull City. The Tigers` boss, who should have been more honest and admit that it was a case of toning down to save his job said:
“I’m just conscious of my role. I wouldn’t say more conscious, just conscious of my role and the effect it can have.
“I was conscious of it before but at times, in the face of adversity, that pressure can change your behaviour.
“I never felt I was becoming more the story than the team. I’ll never be as a big as Hull City.
“And there’s no player in that dressing-room who will be bigger than the club either.
Says the man who b*******d his team on the pitch at half time, seriously!
AVFC Claret & Blues Team News:
James Collins is still struggling with injury, meaning that Carlos Cuellar and David Dunne will continue to forge a similarly effective partnership as the two summer signings made in the initial throws of this season.
Courtesy of his great performance and well taken goal, StuDo may well make his first start as he continues his impressive early return well start, to his Aston Villa career.
Following his well taken goal and all round effective performance, Emile Heskey I`d imagine will continue to feature in the absence of John Whereveyagone Carew.
Curtis Davies and Wilf Bouma remain long-term absences, as does Moustapha Salifou. Whispers have it he is now tea boy for the academy, however those whispers are unconfirmed.
Player to watch: Stuart Downing
I never really rated Downing previously, possibly because he was keeping Barry out of the national team, however I think the replacement in the No.6 shirt may well become an Aston Villa legend. If for no other reason, but his celebration mid-week showed how much playing football again meant to him.
‘Ull Citeh Team News:
Hull frontman Craig Fagan will be returning to the squad tomorrow following his recovery from an injury picked up during Hull`s EPL game against Wet Spam.
Seyi Ole Olifen er Seyi is still out with a hamstring injury. Bernard Mendy is suffering following a knock taken in Hull`s midweek stiffs fixture.
Player to watch: Jimmy Bullard
He may have limbs made of glass, but he`s an effective, hard working “honest lad” and one I think our midfield combo of Jimmy the Miln and Stan may well have to keep a very close eye on.
For at least this fixture and the Stoke game, and possibly even the post-Christmas Liverpool game, you will be subjected to Christmas Songs. So here is probably the most serious, sensitive and all round loving Christmas song ever written.
Check ma bad self!
It should be noted that I will be attending this match. As will many Vital Villans and some of us are donating money (some more than others due to poor taste jokes) to ACORNS. With Christmas approaching, perhaps more Villans would spend less on the ale, and more to a good cause. Join in with Vital Villa editor Jonathan Fear`s ACORNS 450 challenge by clicking HERE!
Hull isn`t really Hull, it`s either ‘Ull or a place that really is Kingston-Upon-Hull. It`s a bit like Stoke-on-Trent but I`d imagine far more grim being further North and all that.
Up North, people eat more pies than people down South.
Famous Hull people include female pilot Amy Johnson, former MP for a Hull constituency, deputy Prime Minister and serial Two Jags shagger John Prescott, and footballing superstar Michael Duberry.
Kingston Upon Hull is twinned with Freetown, Sierra Leone. For those wishing to visit the current Foreign Office advice is: “The greatest risk to short-stay travellers is that of pick pocketing and mugging. If you are staying for a longer period in rented or bought accommodation you should consider the security of your property and are strongly advised to employ guards. We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive medical and travel insurance.”
Didn`t think Hull was that bad.
The ref for the match is Mr Stuart Atwell however I don`t think anyone actually cares.
It has been brought to my attention that there are suggestions that my pre-match predictions this year may well have been slightly inaccurate. I shall now go away and use Fifa 10 (no I`m not paid advertising fee`s, I had to buy the game outright!) to predict based on the team selection I would make.
So 2-1 Villa. Goals from Heskey and Agbonlahor. Just a shame that Andy Marshall couldn`t keep a clean sheet on his debut.
OATCAKES ALL ROUND INT IT DUCK! Stoke City visit next Saturday.
Thanks for reading folks. Remember to donate to ACORNS this Christmas.