No Sjoke Pun-Based Preview Title Here!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to see, Villa win away hey!
Especially when that away win just so happens to be Aston Villa`s first victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford since records began in 1983, a year in which Neil Kinnock became leader of the Labour Party and the DeLorean Motor Company went bust!
Villa return to home comforts after a brilliant away-day against Sir Moanalot`s injury battered side, with a little wobble up to the North East in order to cruise past Potato Head and his fellow spud-like players.
It`s a potty away trip for Stoke City, a team that survived last year on throw-in`s and hoofball (although I should really point out they did beat us!) A short trip down the M6 awaits dillusional Stoke fans, some of which believe they have the makings of an effective Premier Division side.
Ay up me`duck!
Back, by popular demand is the "guess who said this" competition with only one French-based answer. This weeks puzzling quote in which the manager who I personally believe looks a little like a slightly miffed turtle said something that I still cannot believe to this date, he`s got away with.
"The guy who organised the fixtures this season must have come out of a special school because he is more intelligent than I am. For sure, he has never played football."
In a special double feature, here is a bizarre quote in response to Mr Wenger.
"Wenger is moaning like a drain because it doesn't suit Arsenal."
Moaning like a drain?
Turning to matters slightly more serious, Martian O`Neill has called for his Aston Villa charges to continue the good run of form that they have picked up, having gone unbeaten since that dismal night at West Ham way back on the 4th November.
Speaking to avfc.co.uk, Monny said:
"Stoke have had no midweek game. But we go into the match on the back of two away performances - and two games we have won at tough venues in Old Trafford and the Stadium of Light.
"Now it's a case of resting up and getting prepared for this weekend physically.
"Mentally we will be right. Physically it will be very demanding - but that's the Premier League."
My new Claret & Blue hero Emile Heskey has found his voice, having actually done something useful for a wee change. The England international wants Villa to keep motoring along the road to the Champions League. The big man was speaking to the Birmingham Mail:
"It is going well and we are getting the results that we want.
"It was a difficult game for us after we put a lot into the game on Saturday. The boys were all feeling a bit tired but we came here, stayed strong and scored some goals.
"It is easy to say you are going to come and get points, but you have actually got to do it and we have showed that we can.
"It is interesting because people will probably feel that we might die off a little bit but we can hopefully stay up there.
"It's nice to be up there but now we've got to sustain it and keep our foot on the pedal."
On the flippy flop side, Sjoke City boss Tony Pulis, has few problems to deal with (see team news, or Jay`s excellent Head-to-Head article for more info) other than his moaning drains.
If anything, the man with many baseball caps (ok I lie, he only has 1) has taken his pre-match press time to be very complimentary about the Villans. Speaking to the Official Stoke website Mr Pulis said:
"Martin has something very special there because five of his front six are in with a chance of going to the World Cup Finals." Bit harsh on Heskey I thought, and he`s clearly unaware Stan`s Bulgarian?
He did however find time to be bullish about his sides current form and chances as he added:
"We have consistently produced stronger away performances this season and achieved some fine results.
"We know it is going to be very tough the way Villa are playing, but nobody gave us a prayer at Tottenham and we won there." [They were still drunk mate! Ed.]
"We just know we will have to be at our very best, and will probably need a bit of good fortune as well, to get any result."
I like Pulis. More Premier League managers should wear baseball caps. I think they look wicked cool and it shows he`s down with da kids of Cobridge, Hanley, and many other disastrously disgusting parts of Stoke-on-Trent.
Aston Villa Team News:
Villa haven`t really got anything to worry about team wise and it is likely that Martin will pick an unchanged side from the teams that started at both Old Trafford and the Stadium of Light.
Which means Nigel Reo-Coker, please, take a seat.
Player to watch: Luke Young
Bored of Milner now, so lets keep an eye on Luke Young.
Stoke City Team News:
Tony Pulis has to reshuffle his defence as former Chelsea defender Robert Huth is serving a one-game suspension. Liam Lawrence has recovered from flu so may well feature. It will be interesting to see if / where James 'Naughty Boy` Beattie features.
Player to watch: Thomas Sorensen
Always has to be Sorensen in these matches, the former Villa goalkeeper is enjoying another good season with his new club, but as we all know he can be prone to the odd cock up!
Match Facts & Stats
Christmas song time! Ok Sir Jimmy…take it!
Easily the worst lip syncing….ever.
Right, well after that, it`s time for some Stoke-on-Trent facts.
I live near Stoke-on-Trent.
Stoke-on Trent is classed as a conurbation, made up of Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, Longton and Fenton. It is highly famous for Pottery, steel and Robbie Williams.
Nearby Trentham Gardens has a Monkey Forest. Which is actually a forest with monkies in it, not, as I initially thought, monkeys sticking out of the ground.
Stoke`s other football club, Port Vale are awful.
2005-2006, there were 1.92 sexual offenses per 1,000 City population. Higher than the national average.
I`d like to point out none of them were committed by me.
The ref for the game is Lee Probert. Yet another addition to the charisma-less referees in the Premier League.
It turns out that Uriah Rennie is no longer on the select-list, and only officiates lower league matches.
This Probert guy then, a yellow card mentalist. 47 yellows in just 13 games. That said, in his only Villa game this year, he sent off Billeylye…beiltlt…Billy, and Carlos Cuellar in the 1-1 draw with Everton.
Unfortunately my Xbox isn`t currently hooked up, so I will have return to my considerably more accurate predictions.
47-0 to the good guys.
Le Arse on the 27th December. So all that remains is to wish all at Vital Villa a very Merry Christmas!