Aston Villa at Swansea: Alex McLeish is desperate for three points, will players play for him?

If Swansea beat us on Sunday they will go above us in the league, having won more at home than we have at home. Like us, they also haven't won away but it isn't nice to be comparing us to a team from Wales, even if they are, on the face of things, trying to do it the right way.

There is hope it will happen too, if we lose and find ourselves below Swansea. You see, there is a petition to get McLeish removed and if you want to sing it - all you have to do is click here to make your voice heard.


It needs names to be taken seriously and at the moment it doesn't have them, but Randy Lerner knows the importance of supporter opinion online - that was the reason he sent General PR into the mix in the first place - so if you haven't added your name, do it, if you believe that he has to go.

Liberty Stadium

Swansea have done okay at home. They've beaten West Brom (3-0), Stoke (2-0) and Bolton (3-1), only lost against Manchester United (0-1) and taken a point against Wigan (0-0) and Sunderland (0-0).

We can take several things from those results. What I'm going to take is that they are tough to break down and organised. I'm also going to hope that they are on a run. They lost last time out.

The thing is, I don't think Swansea or going to get into the habit of losing at home this season. Brendan Rodgers will manage the basics well - it was what prompted Mourinho to take him from Reading to manage the youth setup at Chelsea.

He spent four years at Chelsea before moving to Watford, before heading back to Reading. It didn't go well at Reading. He left four months later after a win rate of just over 26%. Coincidentally, McLeish has had just over four months with us and if we lose on Sunday, his win rate will be almost the same.

The match

Norwich was my banker bet, Swansea isn't, but we should still win. Player for player we have more quality, in probably every position, but this is the reason why the manager is so important. Swansea will be up for it, they will play a certain way and they will cause us problems.

But, if we put enough men behind the ball, defend well and get Gabby involved as much as possible down the left to put as many crosses in as possible, Bent will score one or two and we could get lucky.

One thing is for certain - we will go all out to win. McLeish reads supporter sites and is aware of what is needed. He needs to send his players out to win, if only to curry favour. If we don't go out to win, it is just another nail in his coffin and he already has a few.

Prediction and odds

I'm going for a draw. Our manager doesn't go out to win a match, even though he should for this one, but chances are a point is all we are going to get. Or actually, if I was to have a bet on this match, that is what I would put my money on. Odds below though, so you can see what the bookmakers think.

At the end of the day - we are going to see if the players are playing for this manager or not on Sunday. Actions speak louder than words after all.

The final word

Not sure if this is news or speculation but there are reports that Gardner is about to go out on loan. This surprises me a little, especially because we are playing strikers and defenders in midfield. Still, if the manager approves this, more proof the clown hasn't a clue.