The Villa Appetiser: Aston Villa v Ipswich 2017

It wasn’t a classic Villa performance against Sunderland, but at least we got the three points.

Our win on Tuesday was the kind of game we’d have probably have drawn last season, and if we can pick up results when playing badly, it’s always a good sign. It certainly beats what happened in the previous home game against Sheffield Wednesday.

Ipswich are in decent form and provided a Villa Park shock last season with a late winner.

We’ll have to improve upon Tuesday’s performance if we want a third consecutive win…

Form

VILLA

4th in the league table with the 5th best home record 

Last five matches at home: W 4, L 1 

IPSWICH

9th in league table with 14th best away record 

Last five matches away: W 1, D 1, L 3

Bruce on Ipswich

“We know what to expect from a Mick McCarthy team – they’ve made a very good start.

“He’s been there five years or so now and in my opinion he’s very underrated.

“He’s a very capable, good manager who’s been around the block.

“You always know what you’re going to get when you face his sides – they’ll be up and at you.

“They’ll never give anything up, just like Mick himself. They’ll mirror him.”

McCarthy on Villa

“I watched him [Adomah] on Tuesday night against Sunderland and he was probably the stand out player for them.

“He’s scoring goals, and he’s confident, he’s playing well. he’s quick and he can be direct. He’s one we’ll have to watch. There’s an number of good players in their squad.

“At [Villa’s] peril sack Steve Bruce, for me, because he’s had to turn it around.

“It would appear there’s been lots of mistakes made there in terms of changing managers, signing loads of players, and Steve had to get his own players in, and the players that are in there into the mould that he wants.

“He’s done that and it would have been the most ridiculous decision to get shut of Steve.

“His track record as manager in the Championship on the whole is very good at what he does.

“I imagine they’ll be in the top six at the end of the season.

Memory Match

30th November 1988 – Villa 6 Ipswich 2 (League Cup 4th Round) 

Villa only managed to finish 17th upon their return to the top flight, but at least this cup distraction provided some entertainment in front of a crowd of around 16,000.

Alan McInally, who would end the season as Villa’s top scorer, scored twice, while David Platt scored the other four!

A young Dalian Atkinson scored for Ipswich.

One to Watch

Martyn Waghorn – The forward scored against Sheffield Wednesday in mid-week and is Ipswich’s top scorer with nine goals.

Embed from Getty Images

Villa have not lost consecutive home games against the Tractor Boys since 1981

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

Ipswich are an unpredictable team.

Manager Mick McCarthy has, amazingly by modern managerial standards, been at the club for five years, and has enjoyed some decent campaigns during his time there.

While the last time Ipswich finished in the top six was in the 2014/15 season, McCarthy’s men have achieved mixed results from year to year, but they’re usually in and around the top 10 – impressive given the club’s budget.

As it stands, Ipswich are ninth in the table, and while their away record isn’t fantastic, they’re just six points behind Villa. They’re finding the net on their travels too – only two teams have scored more away goals than Ipswich in the league.

Steve Bruce said in his pre-match conference that Ipswich will be ‘up and at’ Villa on Saturday, and the stats certainly point to a direct approach from the visitors.

In terms of headed goals, there have been more in games involving Ipswich (14 for, 7 against) than any other team in the league this season, so our makeshift defence will have to be on top of their game.

In the absence of Kodjia and Hogan, Davis has been excellent this season, but he’s been leading the line on his own for the last few games. He’ll likely start on Saturday, but in truth, he’s probably due a rest.

There was an air of complacency in the Villa performance on Tuesday which we must improve upon for Saturday’s game.

McCarthy mentioned the need to bring in “a few fresh faces” for Saturday’s game which is something we really need to do, yet might not be able to due to our injuries.

One player who could start is Emyr Huws, who returned to the Ipswich side from the bench in mid-week and was the scorer of their late winner in this fixture last season. Our apologies for reminding you about that game…

“He’s scoring goals, and he’s confident, he’s playing well. he’s quick and he can be direct. He’s one we’ll have to watch” – MCCARTHY ON ADOMAH



Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag

If you’re still thinking about our defeat to Ipswich last season, the history books might be able to help.

The 1-0 defeat in February saw Ipswich end a 5-match unbeaten run for Villa, but according to the records, we should be optimistic.

Villa have not lost consecutive home games against the Tractor Boys since 1981, a year in which Villa were league champions, while Saturday’s opponents were runners up.

Another good stat is that Ipswich have failed to score more than once in their last 17 league matches against Villa. We’ve generally managed to score a couple in the last few matches so this offers some historical encouragement.

More recently, Ipswich have not kept a clean sheet away from home since their 1-0 win at Villa Park in February.

Given the clinical form of Adomah, who has managed eight Championship goals this season from 11 shots on target, there’s reason to be confident of a third consecutive victory.

While Villa looked tired on Tuesday we do at least have the likes of Jedinak, who has made a couple of substitute appearances recently, and Grealish and Lansbury are ready to play their part.

Ipswich, who played on Wednesday, have had a day’s less rest than Villa, and are without key player David McGoldrick, who is out for a month after suffering an injury in the mid-week game.

That 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday saw McCarthy’s men concede a confidence-damaging late equaliser.

We’ll have to up our game, and there could be difficult squad rotation decisions for Bruce, but hopefully we can make amends for the frustrating home defeat to Ipswich last season.

UTV.

Follow Lewis on Twitter – @rymondfootball

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