By Richard Wakefield
Party in Preston?
With a Sam Winnall equaliser coming in the closing stages of Villa’s midweek exploits at Oakwell, the disappointing draw with Barnsley has put Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo under serious pressure.
With a trip to Deepdale awaiting Villa before the international break, a win against Preston could instil some much needed optimism for the Villa faithful over the next two weeks.
When a team has only racked up one win in 10 league games this season (lets not even mention last season), then help is needed to find a way to win. Here’s three ways that Villa can beat Preston North End…
3. Catching Practice
With Gollini splitting opinions with his performances between the sticks, the verdict is still out on the Italian U-21 international. Unfortunately for the shot-stopper, the midweek fixture didn’t qualm any of the fans fears as he flailed at the Barnsley corner that lead to the equaliser.
To add more worries to Di Matteo and the team, Preston have scored 50% of their goals from set-pieces, which clearly indicates Simon Grayson’s tactic for one of the Championships minnows.
It has been pretty clear throughout the season that Villa have struggled at defending period, but from set pieces, a disjointed and disorganised defence seems to be too commonplace at the moment, if Di Matteo dedicates serious time to defending set-pieces in training, this could dispel most fears of Villa conceding.