Villa MUST beat Fulham!
It's stupid at this time of the season to say this is a must win game, but I'm going to say it anyway. Villa HAVE to get a home win against Fulham on Saturday, these are the sort of teams we've got to get the points against as we are still a long way off the 'big' clubs. These are the games where our chances of making the Uefa Cup next year will be won and lost through the season.
Martin O'Neill said: 'The onus is definitely on the home side to go and break the away team down. I heard from various people at Newcastle that it was quite refreshing to see an away side try to come and win the game. I was delighted to hear that because some people just go away from home and shut up shop. There is an excitement and zest about the side which will stand us in good stead.'
He also says of the Fulham new boys: 'Steven (Davis) and Aaron (Hughes) are two terrific lads, make no mistake about that. I would have preferred Steven to stay but I couldn't guarantee him that he would play in the position he wanted every single week. Aaron was never unhappy here but with knowing Lawrie very well he thought it was an opportunity that he couldn't waste. They are two terrific lads and I obviously wish them all the best.'
Aston Villa Team News:
Sorensen is still out with a hamstring injury. Berger is also still recovering from yet another injury.
(from): Carson, Taylor, Gardner, Mellberg, Laursen, Bouma, Barry, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Carew, Young, Moore, Harewood, Cahill, Maloney.
Player to watch: John Carew
scored a brace for Norway v Argentina, lets hope he takes that form into the Prem and shoots us to victory.
Fulham Team News:
Aaron Hughes is out after injuring ankle ligaments last week. Niemi is out also.
(from): Warner, Keller, Volz, Baird, Knight, Bocanegra, Davis, Smertin, Diop, Davies, Healy, Dempsey, Rosenior, Konchesky, Kamara, John
Player to watch: Steven Davis
hopefully our former midfielder won't come back to haunt us.
Match Facts & Stats
Fulham haven't won at Villa Park since 1973, long may that run continue.
Record in the Premiership: Villa 5 wins, Fulham 1 win, 6 draws.
Record at Villa Park in Prem: Villa 4 wins, Fulham 0 wins, 2 draws.
Last season: Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham (Barry, pen) (Volz)
21 October 2006 - Ref: Chris Foy
Mystic Mug has polished his balls and is totally happy to predict a 2-0 thriller at Villa with the home team getting their first win of the season. Mark Lawrenson predicts 2-1 to Villa saying on the BBC site: 'Villa really should have come away from Newcastle with a win last week but they found Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper in really good form. I know Martin O'Neill is still looking to improve the squad, so I expect them to get better as the season wears on. There are big question marks hanging over the Fulham side on the road.'
Chelsea Sept 2 (Sunday 4pm)