By Richard Wakefield

Luring the Dragons

A return to Birmingham from the south coast left many Villa fans disappointed as the team put in one of their best performances yet under Steve Bruce against Brighton yet failed to pick up the win. A good point nonetheless was earned which leaves Villa still within touching distance of the play-offs (at least in points, if not position) and the belief that they can tussle with the best in the league.

Villa will welcome Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City to Villa Park on Saturday, another team that have seen a significant turn in form due to a managerial change. Only losing to Wigan and league leaders Newcastle since Warnock’s arrival in the first week of October, which makes Cardiff’s league position of 21st a little deceiving.

However, Steve Bruce still remains unbeaten as Villa manager as well as Villa being the only Championship team to be unbeaten at home, leaving Cardiff as the underdog going into the game. Villa clearly have an opportunity to show everybody why they deserve to still be considered as promotion contenders.

Here’s three ways of making it happen…apart from scoring more goals.

 

2. Scene of the Crime

 

This fixture will welcome home a former Villan in the form of Peter Whittingham, one of Cardiff’s most dangerous attackers. Whittingham has become one of Cardiff City’s longest serving players as well as one of their highest ever goal scorers, a remarkable achievement from a player who has only ever played at left-midfield or more centrally.

Whittingham has once again stood up for Cardiff this year and has directly contributed to six of Cardiff’s 15 goals with his three assists and three goals. He has contributed to double the amount of goals than any other player in the side making Whittingham a key player that needs to be marked out of the game.

Maybe attaching Gary Gardner on marking duty as Jedinak sweeps the rest of the midfield would be ideal to silence the Nuneaton born midfielder. Avoiding giving any direct free kicks would also be a step in the right direction, as Whittingham is known for being lethal at dead ball situations.