Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday April 18 2006
A local derby puts a few smiles on the fans faces but it does not make up for a dire season. Villa need to take their Sunday spirit into this tricky tie at the JJB Stadium where Wigan will be hoping to end the season on a high after shocking many pundits - including O'Leary - that they haven't been relegation threatened!
David O'Leary says: 'Now we go up to Wigan - a team that's done well this season and surprised a few people. It won't be an easy game, but hopefully everyone - players, staff and fans - has been lifted by Sunday's result. We didn't build on the derby win at St Andrew's in October and that was frustrating. Hopefully we can build on Sunday's win to clock up a few more wins before the end of the season. People have tried to involve us in the relegation issue. But, while I've always said you're never safe until you're safe, we've only ever looked in the other direction. Our trouble is we've drawn too many games. Draws don't move you very fast. But if we can get a few more wins between now and the end of the season there's teams we can still catch.' (Drawn too many? What about the 13 defeats?)
Captain Arjan de Zeeuw is out for the remainder of the season with a fractured his collar bone. Matt Jackson is a doubt with a knee injury. (from): Filan, Chimbonda, Henchoz, Camara, Johansson, McCulloch, Kavanagh, Francis, Scharner, Taylor, Teale, Bullard, Ziegler, Baines, Thompson, Roberts, Pollitt.
A hard working midfielder who is being eyed by the bigger clubs.
Steven Davis and Mark Delaney are out for the rest of the season. Craig Gardner is likely to deputise. Olof Mellberg is still not fit so Gary Cahill and Liam Ridgewell should form the central defensive spots. It will be interesting to see if Bouma replaces Samuel at left back as Jlloyd had a good game v the Blues. Jumper-Jumper isn't in the squad list, doesn't really matter as despite the fact DOL bought him (and Berson) for midfield competition he wouldn't be played anyway but I can't find out if he has an injury preventing him from being on the list. (from): Sorensen, Hughes, Cahill, Ridgewell, Samuel, Bouma, Milner, Gardner, McCann, Hendrie, Barry, Angel, Phillips, Baros, Moore, Taylor, Whittingham, Agbonlahor, De la Cruz.
Was on fire v Blues, lets see the team set him up for some more tonight!
Villa are 15th with 39 points.
Best case 14th, worst case 16th on goal difference.
Away form league: 12th, 4 wins, 6 draws, 7 losses.
Current form league: 16th
Last six games: L L D L D W
Wigan are 10th with 48 points.
Best case 8th, worst case 10th.
Home form league: 16th with 6 wins, 3 draws, 8 losses.
Current form league: 11th
Last six games: W W L D D L
Peter Walton, 11 matches, 1 red, 33 yellows.
Mystic mug says this game has draw written all over it. 1-1
Manchester City at home, Liverpool away and a sad fairwell to Sunderland at Villa Park on the last day of the season!
Date:Tuesday April 18 2006
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