Match Preview: Bolton away and happy St George's Day

Before I begin and this can be said to the Bolton supporters reading this too; Happy St George's Day. The country might be a mess and it might be past the point of ever getting fixed, but England is the birthplace of football, the bacon sandwich and lager.

Okay, we've done more, bit those three are probably more important to most of us, so they get listed. For any Americans reading; we also invented the game you call American football, the game you call baseball and the ice hockey too.


Anyway, to the match on Saturday and this is not going to be an overly positive post but I think Villa can win. It's not positive because when you can't beat West Ham at home when they have a number of players missing, the chances of beating Bolton away are slim.

But like I said, I fancy our chances. I fancy them because we are not at Villa Park and we've done much better this season away from home. Okay, most of the time we've done better playing a certain way, which we stopped doing when Heskey came, but I'm not going down that road today.

Bolton are still not safe and last time at home they did Middlesbrough 4-1 so we have every right to be a little worried but we've got to go into this match with a little confidence, so I'm going to look for positives.

Heskey, unless he gets stuck in a tropical rainforest in South America or wakes up having forgotten what his legs are for, will play as will either Carew or Gabby so we're going to have two player on the pitch who you'd fancy for the huge sums of money they get paid, should be able to score. Heskey I reckon will do better against teams like Bolton simply because the players are not going to be as good as say Vidic and Ferdinand, but we'll see.

But I don't think our problem area is going to be scoring goals, it's going to be stopping them going in. We've let in 20 goals in the last eight games and while it all coincides with us missing Laursen, it's too easy just to blame the absence of one player and we all know that isn't the only reason.

We need to have a settled central defensive partnership and we need tighten up in midfield. We're going to need to do it this weekend if we are going to walk away with three points and while I still fancy we'll play 4-4-2, I think it's possible we steal something against Bolton, because they might be playing 4-4-2. If they play something else, we may struggle against the extra man in midfield, but I don't ink they will.

Four against four and I think we're as good as any team, if not better, which is actually quite easy to say, because the top four don't play with four and we are currently fifth, so it sort of makes sense.

But it is going to take a very determined performance this Saturday for us to walk away with three points and we do need them as we are only one point ahead of Everton and they are playing Manchester City at home and there is every chance they will get something out of that.

The only way for us to be certain of staying ahead is a win; it comes down to how much we want this. Do we have the bottle?

As usual, we'll be doing a match day live post with some video, links, banter but for now, your predictions below please. I predict we'll still be fifth on Sunday morning, just.