Date:Monday December 31 2007
I can't believe I have to do another preview so soon. Villa go into 2008 on the back of a win away to Wigan, a game that can be best described as 'windy.'
From Potato Head we move onto Tottenham Hotspuds, a club that has finally found their main man to fire them into Europe. Just a shame that he now wants to move to a bigger club!
Full preview as always from Vital Villa!
Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies believes that the superb away following (thanks!) at Wigan can continue, along with approximately 35,000 others to roar Villa to victory on Tuesday evening.
Davies spoke to the official website, avfc.co.uk:
'I fancy our chances with the fans backing us. It was incredible at Wigan with 5,000 supporting and singing.
'I'm certainly looking forward to 2008. At the start of the season, we were looking to Europe and as we look at the table now we're right amongst it.
'As long as we keep solid, there's no reason why we can't make it into Europe.'
The 'fortress Villa Park' theory is one shared by Davies centre back partner Martin Laursen who had another steady game at the heart of the defence at the JJB:
'It's always nice to win away but I prefer a home win,' he said. 'Winning in front of your own supporters is much better than winning away from home.
'I also love to go and celebrate with the fans if I score a goal, if the team scores a goal or if we win the match.
'I always try to show them how much I appreciate their support.'
Now to even happier things, with Spurs fans bouncing off the walls over Dimitar Berbatov scoring 4 goals against Reading, his agent has been busy ensuring that the Bulgarian international, allegedly 'injured' for tomorrows game finds employment away from White Hart Lane:
The deathly looking striker`s agent Emil Dantchev told The Sun:
'I have already spoken to the Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and told him that if a club which corresponds to Dimitar's class and ambition comes in with an offer which suits his current club in January, he would like to be allowed to go.
I would like to stress this is not about money, this is about sporting ambition, nor has it anything to do with the new manager Juande Ramos. Dimitar is perfectly happy with Ramos and the way he is working but after Tottenham's bad start to the season it is unlikely they will have the chance to do something big this season.'
Tis the season for eating Sweets, and Berbatov himself believes that Spurs, like any good bar of Dairy Milk with Creme Egg in it, has soft centre.
Clearly speaking before his agent opened his trap, Berba said:
'It's OK for the fans that we scored so many goals, but we must look at our goals and correct them.
'We conceded easy goals from free-kicks and corners and that's not good because we keep doing that in every game.'
Tell you what, that sounds familiar!
Villa are sweating on the fitness of John Carew who picked up a twisted knee courtesy of a rough challenge early on in the Wigan match.
One can only hope that Martin O'Neill does not turn to the disinterested Luke Moore, who's shorts were cleaner than Carson's (not hard) and trotted around the pitch at the JJB showing he was clearly a player with a mind elsewhere.
I want Marlon Harewood to start personally but let's face it, he probably won't.
Following his goal scoring antics, and overall good display against Potato Head's merry men, Curtis Davies is expected to retain his place despite the availability of Zat Knight who has now served the suspension he picked up courtesy of a red card against Chelsea.
No sign of Moustapha Salifou yet.
Was the telling difference in the end for us up at Wigan, can the man with more speed than he has (football) sense do it again?
As already mentioned, it's great news for Villa as Dimitar Berbatov looks set to miss out on a chance to thump a few goals past 'England's Number 1.'
It's also good news for the 'Jermaine Defoe to Villa' camp as he doesn't look likely to replace the Bulgarian, with a rare start for Darren Bent widely expected.
Didier Zokora returns, as does Michael Dawson whose injury is listed by the BBC as 'migrane.'
Gardner (ankle), Gareth Bale (foot) and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) miss out.
Doug Ellis once cocked up when he had the chance to sign Robbie Keane (Paul Robinson was more David O'Leary's fault) and ever since the guy has looked a class above the strikers we've had at Villa Park in the recent years.
Expect him to be a handful.
Edit: Can only find one source that suggests his injury picked up in the 6-4 win against Reading means Berbatov is out, therefore please be kind if, yet again I've got my squad news wrong! :-)
I can't find the referee appointment for this week. However a special mention to Saturday's official Mr Howard Webb who didn't have that bad a game. Well, better than you're average Premier League Referee!
Hard fought 2-1 Villa win for me I think!
It's FA Cup action for us following Spurs' as we yet again face Manchester United in the 3rd round at Villa Park on Saturday, 5th November (17:15 kick off, on BBC!)
Date:Monday December 31 2007
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