Match Preview: Hull at Villa Park, surely three points

You've got to fancy this match is three points for us don't you? Marky Mark is even predicting a 2-0 win suggesting we've broken the back of the bad run.

I'm not convinced we've broken the back of it yet, I'll only feel like that after a couple or three victories and certainly not after Hull on Monday night. It's just one game that they are probably going to make it very difficult.

The chances are we'll go into this game on Monday night in 6th place and while some might say it will give us something to play for, we had top four to play four and that didn't turn out to be much of an incentive, despite the managers man management skills. Hull might also have more of a reason to get something out of this game so it's a tough one to call.

I'm sorry if this post has started out negatively, but it's just that I don't feel very positive about things Aston Villa at the moment. This season, a bit like last, despite seeing progression, has been a bit of an anti-climax. I know we've seen progression and I accept that it's all good, but we've sort of accepted that it is going to be slow and difficult when actually it doesn't have to be. When did I get the options?

Look at it this way, January was a great opportunity to strengthen as was last January and we didn't. We have to this summer and for the life of me, if we're in a good position next January too, we've got to bloody strengthen then too.

I've really gone off the rails now, so back to the match. Hull have lost their last three matches and only won one match in the last eighteen. We've drawn our last three so you've got to fancy things are going to change for both teams and the more likely of any scenario, is a home victory, but then when you factor in that Hull are better away from home, much like us, everything becomes even again and a draw looks the most likely.

It would be a sad state of affairs if we couldn't beat this side and like I've suggested you've got to fancy it is a home win. Last time we met Hull in the league we won 5-0 in the old Second Division on New Years Day 1988. A repeat of that would be impressive and long overdue.

Another interesting stat from the stat bank which could continue after this match is that we are the only two clubs not to have lost any of our league games in which we've opened the scoring, so whoever scores first, you fancy might get the three points. I'm predicting a John Carew goal on nine minutes and that it will be the first.

We do need a win and I fancy we'll get it, if only because Hull are so poor and you've got to fancy our eleven players are going to be of a higher quality than the eleven they put out.

I think it is massively important that we finish in fifth this season. If we do that, it's been a step up from the previous campaign. That would be great. As long as there is a progression made, everyone - the fans, chairman, manager and players - will be upbeat about the coming season.
Brad Friedel, April 28th 2009