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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2. Stop the Cross
Blackburn may be struggling, but the emergence of Southampton loanee Sam Gallagher has given Rovers a fighting chance. The 6’3″ target man provides an aerial threat that not many other strikers can boast in the Championship. Notching six goals in eleven starts, Villa could be dealing with a serious threat to their three points.
With 76% of Blackburn’s attacks being on the flanks, it will be clear what the away sides intentions are going to be from the start, stay compact, break, then cross and hope.
Unfortunately for Villa, James Chester may be taken out of the game as he only stands at 5’11”, but luckily the emergence of Nathan Baker at centre back has given Villa some much needed height in the Villa defence.
Standing at 6’2″, having Baker man-mark Gallagher will become the antidote to stop the majority of Blackburn’s attack.