Aston Villa at Hull: Live updates, team news, links and banter

Iain Dowie will not save Hull - they will be relegated and I'm going to explain why; he is trying to change too many things when all he should be doing is getting his players up for every battle. He shouldn't be worrying about formations and tinkering with the squad - he just needs to get them fighting.

Martin O'Neill is good at it. If Martin O'Neill took over at Pompey a few weeks ago he would have kept them up because he wouldn't be worrying about the details - he would be getting his defenders defending, his midfielders tracking back and fighting for every ball, his wingers would be putting in crosses and his strikers would be scoring.

Iain Dowie isn't like that and that is why Hull will be relegated, which is a pity, as I quite like Hull, or I did under Phil Brown. Phil Brown, for everything he did that we don't know about would have kept them up and for everything he did for Hull deserved the chance to try.

Aston Villa at Hull

This might start to sound like all I am doing is having a pop at Iain Dowie and that Phil Brown has paid me and there is a chance, a slim chance, that Dowie could have figured something out from the weekend. You see, he played 451 against The Clowns and got his fourth point since taking over and that really is the best way for him to steal points and hope for three.

They did beat Fulham on March 27th 2-0 at home, but Fulham had played Spurs a few days before and I fancy had an eye on the Europa League match against Wolfsburg a few days later, but they did win and on that particular day, they also played I think with one man up front.

What I'm getting at is, if Hull play with one up front tonight, they will probably do better than if they play with two up front and if Dowie figures this out, he should, he's a smart man, then Hull could be difficult tonight.

Early Team News

We could be two down with ten minutes to go tonight and O'Neill could bring on The Fonz and he could score all three and win us the game and he still wouldn't start the next match. What I'm saying is, don't expect changes tonight and you won't be disappointed.

For some reason, I'm also starting to think that we don't need to be making changes. In fact, if we start making changes now it could be worse for us. The entire team is used to playing together and making changes now could do more damage than good as we have a level of continuity with eleven players instead of fourteen or fifteen and at this stage of the season and where we find ourselves, we need that continuity if we are to stand any chance.

Preview and Prediction

This isn't going to be an easy game and it is going to go one of two ways; it will be open and end to end like a lot of games we have played recently or it will be a cagey game where Hull sit back and defend.

If it is an open game we will win. It will mean Hull are coming at us and that suits us. It will give them more chances but we have a fantastic back four now who will dive in for everything and teams rarely score against us. If Hull sit back, it will mean they are playing 451 and they wont have as many chances but we will spend most of the match in their half, but this is where we struggle.

It all comes down to Hull. If they set up like they did against The Clowns last time out, I can see a draw or a cheeky 1-0 to us. If they come at us and play 442, I can see us winning by a few tonight, I really can.

You see, we are starting to play better football and we are starting to make space and we are starting to keep the ball a lot more and we are stringing more passes together. If we keep all those things going then there will come a game where it all drops into place and we go mad. I'm hoping it is tonight.