Quick Preview: Hull at Villa Park and Blackburn in the League Cup

Yesterday, I allowed the excitement of getting Blackburn in the semi-finals take over for a bit and it was fun, but let's not forget they've already beaten us this season and anything can happen at this stage and while this might be a fantastic opportunity for a Wembley trip, it isn't a done deal yet.

Don't get me wrong, I'm looking at how much it's going to cost me to come over for the Wembley final, but I'm not booking anything, I am merely budgeting, which is sound financial planning. But wouldn't it be absolutely fantastic to get to Wembley? That would be progress.


But, before all that, we have Hull at Villa Park on Saturday and as one of only two teams not to win away from home all season, you've got to fancy this is three points in the bag, don't you?

Matches like this are the important ones. The teams where we are expected to get three points, we have to, more often than not, get them and basically, we haven't done that this season. We have to start doing it this Saturday because we have to play Sunderland and Stoke, both three points behind us, in December and we want to be going into those games with a little cushion, if possible.

So, what will O'Neill do? Will he play four-four-two or will he finally try something new, now that Downing, Milner and Ash look set to start?

I'm desperate for O'Neill to change formation. I think Carew needs to be dropped and used as an impact player from the bench - I've got no stats to back me up on this but he just seems to make more of an impact from the bench.

I don't want Heskey starting either. Okay, some might say a bit harsh because he has scored two goals recently, but that is only three in 25 now and actually, we need to finally look at playing in a way that incorporates our three big signings and also allows us to have two central midfielders that can tidy things up and sit in the hole.

I know some of you are probably sick to death of this formation call from me, but I really do think it important, so I will continue with it until he figures it out. But I really do think he will now although I bet he's over the moon at how Heskey has scored recently and that will justify him starting for O'Neill and if we are lucky we might see another two goals from him over the rest of the season.

Anyway, I can get carried away with certain things, but I shouldn't, as it isn't doing me any favours, but Hull have only picked up two points away from home all season and I don't want them picking up their third this weekend, so I'm going to leave it now, but will just say, with Spurs playing on Sunday and Liverpool travelling to Blackburn, there is every chance we could be 4th by 4.45pm on Saturday, but it is in our hands.

More on this match on Saturday, I'm off to punch my arms in the air. I know we've all done it recently.

Before I go, no rumours today, but you can get 11/4 on Aston Villa to win the League Cup at PaddyPower. That is a pretty good price, although yesterday it was 5/1, but I might have a cheeky fiver.