Now this is a weird one. Taking place on an unusual choice of evening, Friday night’s FA cup tie sees a nervous Villa travel to Millwall. At the moment, the Premier League is the priority, especially after Tuesday night, but this could act as some kind of morale boost if we were to progress to the next round. If Lambert secures survival and wins the FA Cup, we might then forgive him for messing up our Tuesday night this week!
Match Difficulty Grade
B – It’s difficult to predict how Villa will do. Will they be a side sulking after an embarrassing cup exit or will they look to provide an instant response? After the recent run of results, few are particularly optimistic about Friday’s match, though a good win at The Den would surely restore a dose of self-respect and a bit of belief into the side
Form Is Temporary
Aston Villa’s away record in the Premier League is, for some reason, better than their home record. One win, three draws and one loss in their last five away ties.
In the Championship, Millwall have impressed in their last five home matches with a record of three wins and two losses.
But as the cliché goes, the form book goes out the window in cup games.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Millwall are a respectable ninth in a league in which numerous clubs are closely fighting for a promotion bid. Aston Villa, as far as pundits are concerned, could well be in Millwall’s league next season. Aston Villa have failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 FA Cup matches, and with their set-piece weakness exposed this run could continue. Lambert has continually acknowledged this weakness, but what is most worrying is that we continue to concede goals in this manner. Millwall’s Kenny Jackett, who managed to get Millwall promoted from League One a couple of seasons ago, will be well aware of this. Ominously, Millwall have only lost twice in the last 17 FA Cup matches at The Den.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
With the chance of new signings all but gone, it would be nice to see a performance to encourage the claret and blue faithful. In the first half at Bradford we saw the better side of Lambert’s Villa, plenty of attacking football and a well-worked goal. Yet again, however, we conceded and collapsed in the second. In this match, we need to see a team without the “hangover” Vlaar spoke of, and a victory here might just ease some of the pain of Tuesday. Might…
Why Villa are Totally 100% Going to Win
Millwall are not going to be easy to beat, but they might be keen to focus on the Championship league table. With a couple of points between them and a play-off position, a cup run might be a bit of a distraction. During the four occasions Millwall have been drawn against a Premier League team, they have lost each time. Ashley Westwood is back and Jordan Bowery is also in contention – the midfield always seems a little stronger with Westwood in there. Villa should feel they have everything to prove in this match, for the fans are losing patience, but I think they have it in them to win this. To be knocked out of another cup would be unthinkable. In the League Cup, Villa played better as the underdogs, and that’s what the bookies make us. So, to quote Lambert himself – “we’ll be fine.”
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