Welcome Home Zat! (Bolton Preview)
Jonathan Fear, I want a pay rise. I feel somewhat alarmed that this is my third, yes, my THIRD article within a week. Following my debut on Vital Bolton, and the WHAM! preview, here I am again to irritate your eyes once more although it is a shorter one this time.
Aston Villa finally return home after an arduous road trip that has seen unexpected victory, dismal derby draws, cup drama and well (apologies for the re-use of the word) a dismal defeat at the hands of Wet Spam Untied.
Martin O`Neill will be hoping for home comforts as face after familiar face return to Villa Park as we see:
Oh Martin O`Neill is in fighting mood, especially after the last gasp goal that saw him fail at Upton Park against an under-strength West Ham side.
"'I am delighted to be at home, really pleased. It's been ages since the Chelsea game.
'I think four consecutive away games, including the Carling Cup, was a daunting task for us and we nearly came through it unbeaten."
He didn`t actually mention Bolton Wanderers on a whole, however he did mention his decision to allow former Villan Gary Cahill to depart Birmingham for the North West.
"Have I any regrets that Cahill left? No."
"He wasn't exactly kicked out of the door, but Gary got to the stage where he wanted to play first-team football.
"He felt he wasn't going to get that in the coming weeks or months on a regular basis at Villa and, if we couldn't keep him, then we don't really want to stop people from making progress.
"Bolton, Birmingham and Sheffield United were interested. Bolton paid us £5million for the lad plus the sell-on fee and we were happy to do it.
"He was happy to go, we are happy and we still remain happy with the situation."
Well that`s that then. It`s just a damn shame it took so long to finally work out what to do with the centre back issue!
According to Vital Bolton, Gary Megson has been in fine enthusiastic and positive mood about his sides chances:
"On their home patch, they are as strong as you can come across."
"Martin has brought in some really good players, some defensive players and it looks very solid.
"In the middle of the park it`s hardworking, with a bit of flair down both sides, and they have got the balance up top with Agbonlahor`s pace and the strength of Heskey and Carew."
Thanks Gary, that`s all the encouragement we need!
Aston Villa Team News:
Ah now Carlos Cuellar comes back just in time to likely replace Habib Beye who managed to say Bye Beye against West Ham. Hopefully we may well give Luke Young a whirl but I doubt it.
Silly-Stan Petrov is also booked, his lunging tackle on I think Scott Parker (though lets face it, he often deserves it) means he sits this one out. Nige Reo-Coker hopefully to come in to replace. Emile Heskey (hooray!) James Milner and Craig Gardner are doubts.
If anyone has seen Moustapha Salifou can you let the club know? I checked the lost property office at work and he`s not there.
Player to watch: The unfilled gap at right back.
Carlos or Luke? I guarantee whatever the majority want, the man who thought Heskey could play left wiing will think the opposite!
Aston Villa Rezzies Team News:
Villa`s chances are dented by the news that former left back Jlloyd Samuel is suspended. Again from reading Vital Bolton (I suggest you take a look they are hilarious,) neither of their current full-backs are strong.
Sadly the wonderfully named Danny Shittu is injured.
Player to watch: Zat Knight
In your last game against us Zat, you scored an own goal. Same again! Expect the likes of Gabby to have a tough time against the big man.
Also, welcome back!
Blimey, finding music from Bolton was tough going! It is however fitting to how we often feel whenever the Aston Villa starting line-up is announced.
Other famous Boltonianons include Fred Dibnah, Sara Cox (I would), Peter and his brother Vernon Kay not to mention football legend Jason Wilcox.
Bolton is not a palindrome of Ipswich (only Monty Python fans will understand that.)
Zat Knight is not called Zack (insider joke?)
My shoes hurt! Apart from that, Bolton is twinned with Le Mans, which is famous for environmentalists or something.
The ref for the match is none other than the ever efficient and talented…
cyclist Chris Hoy!
Apologies, it`s actually Chris Foy who I am reliably informed by t`internet is a scouser, and he`s gone card happy prior to Christmas. Mr Foy has amassed 40 yellows in just 12 matches.
Well my 1-0 prediction didn`t work so it`s a John Carew treble hat-trick in a Villa 485-391.4 win.
Off to Burnley on the 21st, so that`s a loss…I mean er, can we buck the trend that happens up there?
PLEASE IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING TO VILLA PARK, THE ARMED FORCES ARE COLLECTING FOR THE POPPY APPEAL. FORGOE ONE PINT AND DONATE THAT MONEY TO THE BRITISH LEGION!