By Richard Wakefield
Aston Villa return this Saturday to Villa Park after a long awaited away win. With the Villa fans having to wait 437 days to finally see their team record a win on the road, a sense of optimism and new found belief is starting to creep in.
However, Steve Bruce will not have an easy task ahead of them as they welcome Fulham who find themselves in mid-table due to their poor home form. Unluckily for Villa, Fulham are undefeated away from home all season.
With both teams eager to pick up three points to announce themselves as late arrivals to the promotion push party, this tight affair could be a real catalyst to begin the Bruce revolution in earnest.
Here’s three ways of making sure it happens…
2. Early Bird Catches the Win
Fulham had a great start to the season being undefeated going into the September fixtures. However, only being able to keep one clean sheet since August has caused them to slowly fall down the table. In that time, an away win at Barnsley last week is their only victory since the summer, which indicates Fulham have a serious weakness at the back.
Although not many teams have shut out Jokanovic’s men, in Fulham’s last three matches, they have conceded within the first 20 minutes of the match. With early goals against QPR, Norwich and Barnsley, Fulham are struggling to start matches strongly and Steve Bruce should capitalise on this.
With the energy of players like Kodjia, Adomah and Ayew being hard to deal with, if Villa come out the traps with all guns blazing, they could aim for an early knock out.
Going into the break a couple of goals up would be the stuff of dreams compared to the rest of the season so far, but Villa have the players to do damage with Fulham’s defensive short-comings.
If this team wants to threaten the promotion places, it’s time to start getting more ruthless.