By Richard Wakefield
Coming off of a hard-fought draw versus Second city rivals Birmingham City, Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa are back home to host a struggling Blackburn side that has only managed to take three points on the road once this season.
Bruce remains undefeated despite having his biggest scare yet at St. Andrews. With a clear starting XI and way of football in place, it’s time for the men on the pitch to put talk into action and develop the tactics into points.
Owen Coyle’s men sit in 23rd place but are by no means down and out. After a horrendous start, which even put Villa’s to shame, Blackburn have only lost once in their last four matches and are beginning to steer the ship in the right direction. Despite this, the match on Saturday is one that Bruce will have marked down as a must win for a promotion push.
Here’s three ways of making it happen…
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3. Lesson Learned
The Second City derby last Sunday had its ups and downs for both teams. However a case can be made that Birmingham did control the game for long periods (especially the second half) and had multiple goal scoring chances to show for it.
Having the home advantage and playing a team in the relegation places, should make focusing on attacking straight forward. However, in recent home games against Wolves and Fulham, chances came few and far between as well.
With Ayew being suspended for the next game, McCormack or Grealish will be expected to join Kodjia and hopefully Adomah in the forward line. A combination of these three players should be causing Blackburn a host of problems on Saturday, as long as they don’t resort to the long ball like we have seen at times like against Wolves and Fulham.
After surrendering possession in recent games, keeping a solid shape whilst maintaining possession will be key in tiring the Blackburn players out before Villa can turn up the tempo and go for the jugular.
Just taking more shots to trouble the keeper and showing more invention in the final third than in recent games, will be key in unlocking a Blackburn team who would be happy with a point.