The Villa Appetiser: Aston Villa v Derby 2017
We’ve seen that anything can happen in the Championship. But was it realistic to expect a win away at Newcastle?
Villa didn’t start the game too badly, but then the all-too-familiar issues resurfaced.
Derby are the best team to head to Villa Park since Leeds in December. We played well against Ipswich and Barnsley but took precisely zero points.
Will Tuesday’s game against Bristol City follow a surprising weekend win against Derby?
Steve Bruce on Relegation
“No! I will do everything in my power as I sit here to make sure that we don’t.
“But we have seen it before where a big club has come into the division and struggled – how many times do you see it?
“We have the big facilities, the big history, the big heritage…but big names mean for nothing when you head out on to the pitch.
“We have to find a bit of form and turn things around, consolidate and grow as a team.”
…and on Derby
“They are a settled side.
“They have been that way for the past four or five years.
“They are settled in the way that they play and they have been at the top end of the division for that time too.
“They have been close to getting out of the division.
“However, they are a very, very good Championship team.
“We know what to expect – they have good individuals, good players – and it will be a good game.”
Steve McClaren on Villa
“They have signed players and spent a lot of money in the summer, and spent a lot of money again in January, and so expectation is huge.
“When you have spent that amount of money that’s what it brings, and it can be very difficult to turn it around.
“It is a season (for Villa) which a lot of people predicted but it is a massive club with great supporters, and individually they have signed some very, very good players.
“So, eventually they will get it right, and without a shadow of a doubt with Steve Bruce at the helm.
“Sometimes you go into a club and it works from day one, and sometimes you go in and you have to build and take some knocks. Steve Bruce is experienced enough to know that.”
3rd November 2007 Villa 2 Derby 0
Goals from Laursen and Young secured the points the last time we played Derby at Villa Park.
Villa – Last five matches at home: W 1, D 2, L 2
Derby – Last five matches away: W 1, D 1, L 3
One to Watch
Darren Bent – The ex-Villa man has been a key player for Derby and has scored nine goals this season.
Villa have conceded at least twice in five of our last six matches
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
As Villa fans, we’re more than used to setting terrible records.
We all know how things have gone since our Boxing Day win (it seems so long ago), and our current form has seen us lose our last five league matches – the first time this has happened outside the top-flight since the ’30s!
Nothing’s going right for Villa at the moment, and it’s been revealed that new signing Scott Hogan will miss the next few weeks through injury. When will the misfortune end?
Well, it might not end this weekend. Derby are a good promotion-chasing side, and represent a bigger challenge than Barnsley and Ipswich – and we know how those games went.
In four of their last nine league matches, Derby have scored exactly three goals in four matches – so goals may not be an issue for McClaren’s men, but read on for more on that unusual statistic.
Villa meanwhile have conceded at least twice in five of our last six matches. This is in stark contrast to our early defensive solidity, and a worrying statistic ahead of an encounter against an attacking Derby side…
“It is a season (for Villa) which a lot of people predicted but it is a massive club with great supporters, and individually they have signed some very, very good players” – mcclaren ON VILLA
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
We often say that the historical statistics are reason to be cheerful, and it’s the same this time, too. We’ve won our last nine home league games against Derby.
While another win would give Villa a consecutive run not seen since 1954 (when we recorded 14 wins in a row against Preston), current form suggests we might have a fighting chance.
We mentioned above that Derby have scored three goals in four of their last nine games, but in the other five, they’ve failed to score!
The Rams’ last win at Villa Park came in November 1988 (1-2), courtesy of goals from Paul Goddard and Dean Saunders.
Having been frustrated by a goalless draw against Burton on Tuesday, Derby are now winless in four in the league.
While this could motivate them even more to record a Villa Park victory, it will be a rare chance to see a team approach the game with attacking intent. This could create more chances for us to get the goals that have eluded us.
There is, then, reason to believe that we can prevent Derby from a first Villa Park win since 1988… After our recent Villa Park defeats that came despite dominating large parts of those games, let’s hope we get the win we deserve.
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