‘[Cardiff] can’t keep dropping points while Fulham keep doing what we should be doing…’
The Villa Appetiser: Aston Villa v Cardiff City 2018
We know how quickly things can change in football.
The last time we played Cardiff (early on in the season) it looked like promotion was unlikely even back then, after that shock 3-0 loss.
Since then, things seemed to have got better, especially after a win against the Blues finally propelled Villa into a top two spot. But every time the window of opportunity for second place opens up, we seem to shoot ourselves in the foot.
Could Tuesday’s match be as bad as the last time we faced Cardiff?
4th in the league table with the 3rd best home record.
Last five matches at home: W 3, D 1, L 1
2nd in league table with 4th best away record.
Last five matches away: W 3, D 2
Bruce on Norwich loss and Cardiff game
“We just weren’t good enough on the day, which is disappointing for a big game like this. We haven’t done enough.
“We made a few changes in the second half but gifted them a couple of soft goals.
“It was a really disappointing afternoon and it’s difficult to take at this point of the season. But that’s football.
“It’s not about what other people do, it’s about the accumulation of points.
“And we simply haven’t got enough in the last month. We can only look at ourselves.
“We’ll never give up, but it looks like those automatic places will be difficult to get to. We’ll try again on Tuesday.
“We’ve got to have it in the locker and we’ve got to perform better.
“We didn’t do that against Norwich and it’s difficult to swallow.”
Neil Warnock on Grealish
“He’s a good player, but all the time he’s trying to get players booked, going to the referee and all that and he gets away with it when they’re at home I suppose. He didn’t need to do it really.”
Warnock on the Run-in
“We’re into the final run-in now and we don’t have time to dwell on anything”
“The fans are vital now, too. I thought it was great the other night [against Wolves]. I know we lost, but I though the atmosphere and the game itself was fabulous. It had everything really.”
Warnock on Current Cardiff Team
“They’re a really good group, you can’t fault them in anything like that.”
“They still surprise me. Where we are at the moment with six games to go, it’s an amazing feat really and I’m delighted for them – and they’re ready to go again! Once again, we’re going to be underdogs.”
“I think we’ve just got to go there and enjoy it really”
Warnock Loves Villa
“It’s one of my favourite grounds. When I was a kid, I was a Sheffield United fan, but I used to love Aston Villa’s shirt colours too. Villa’s a special place. It will be a really good atmosphere, they’re good fans and it will be a full house.
“It will be difficult but I think it’s one we can go and enjoy. We’ll have a good following and our lot always make themselves heard. Let’s give it a go!”
6th October 1973 – Villa 5 Cardiff 0
A crowd of over 24,000 watched an emphatic Villa win in Division Two, thanks to goals from Sammy Morgan, Ray Graydon and Bruce Rioch.
One to Watch
Joe Bennett – The former Villa defender has been a mainstay in the Cardiff XI this season and will no doubt smile over his shoulder, if Cardiff get promoted and Villa don’t. Especially after how he viewed Tony Xia Tweeting about him.
Can you get anymore disrespectful tweeting about a players career like somebody has the last week
— Joe Bennett (@JoeBennett27) August 26, 2016
Robert Snodgrass has scored in three of his last five league matches against Cardiff
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Well, that’s done it.
We’ve had a couple of chances now to sneak into second place but it seems the chance has now gone.
What’s more annoying is that Saturday’s game saw us against a mid-table Norwich side, a team Fulham had beaten 2-0 at Carrow Road a week or so earlier. We certainly didn’t look like promotion contenders at Carrow Road in comparison.
With automatic promotion out of the question, we should now focus on putting together a run of good form to prepare us for the lottery of the play-offs.
Unfortunately, we’re losing momentum at a bad time, and after a run of 10 wins from 12 league games, we’ve now won just one of our last five.
As well as the aforementioned 3-0 loss at Cardiff earlier in the season, we also lost to Tuesday’s opponents last season, so clearly Warnock knows how to win against Villa.
Cardiff have suffered a few slip-ups of their own, but won’t be too worried yet. Their loss to Wolves was unlucky in a pretty even game, especially after missing two injury-time penalties, and now they’re facing a Villa side low on confidence..again.
As well as this, Cardiff have won three of the last five away matches, drawing the other two…
“we simply haven’t got enough in the last month. We can only look at ourselves” – bruce on villa form
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
It will be interesting to see how Cardiff respond to the crazy game they had against Wolves, and those missed penalties.
It may not have damaged their momentum too much – they’ve been too good this season to expect that – but there are signs that their form is faltering.
Before that Wolves game they failed to win away at Sheffield United, and while they showed good character to equalise late on, they can’t keep dropping points while Fulham keep doing what we should be doing…
Warnock has worked wonders with his Cardiff side but he has a strangely poor record when visiting Bruce’s teams in the Football League.
The Cardiff manager has lost all six of those away days against Bruce, with all six coming with different clubs, who we won’t bother listing.
One of the worst parts of our recent poor performances has been that they’ve happened to a pretty much full strength Villa side.
We know we have the squad to challenge for promotion, even if it looks unlikely at present.
There needs to be an improvement or we could find ourselves in the Championship for quite some time.
We’ve won 12 of our last 14 home games against Cardiff in all competitions (drawing the other two).
So let’s hope we can show Cardiff what we’re made of, and properly prepare for the play-off games.