Hail Father, Son and Richard Dunne plus Blues on Sunday

It was wonderful to see Paul McGrath in the news yesterday backing Richard Dunne to become a Villa stalwart and defensive colossus over the next few seasons. I personally hadn’t been aware that so many similarities could be drawn between the two players, from their shady histories and both being pushed out of Manchester and signing for Villa at the same age.

At 29 I did have second thoughts about signing a player who is nearing his twilight years, but if God’s career is anything to go by, Dunne could have another six seasons at Villa Park. I just can’t wait to see if he settles as well as we are all hoping.


Dunne’s first game will almost certainly come on Sunday as Villa undertake the short jaunt to St. Andrew's and the first second City derby in over a year as Birmingham impressively gained promotion back into the top flight.

The general consensus from Villa fans I have spoken to is that this will be a simple Villa win, but I am a little worried about this fixture.

Big ‘Eck is a manager I do admire, he likes his teams to get the ball down and play and he likes hard working players in his team. In some respects his style reminds me of a certain Northern Irish chap plying his trade down the road.

It is no secret that we have a stronger squad and starting eleven, but we all know that this counts for nothing in a game as big as this and despite largely having the better team for the last god knows how long, we have still managed to lose as many as we have won.

Having watched Birmingham play on the TV this season and looking at some of the signings they have made I honestly think they have a good chance of staying up. They have a solid midfield with some hard workers and good passers, the pick for me being McFadden in the middle and Johnson, who I fancy to be one of the ‘deals of the season’ come the end of the season.

I think they are going to be the classic ‘difficult team to break down’ side that Bolton have become in recent years, packing the midfield and playing a very physical game. It’s not going to be easy for the lads on Sunday, but I have confidence that we can win it.

{rokbox title=|Aston Villa 5 Birmingham City 1 :: Olof Mellberg saw it | thumb=|images/stories/mellberg300.jpg|size=|640 480| album=|fiveone|}images/stories/fiveone/mellberg.jpg{/rokbox}

The problem they have, in my opinion, is going to be scoring however there is talk we are going to see Christian Benitez at the weekend or ‘Chucho’ as he is more commonly known. Form what I’ve seen he looks dangerous and I hope Dunne has his number on Sunday.

So, who will play?

Will Warnock make his home debut or will Shorey continue after his solid start to the season? I am pretty certain it will be 4-5-1 again as we are away and the midfield battle is going to be exactly that, a battle. Reo-Coker must play in my opinion.

Will it be Gabby after his goal against Fulham or will Carew start? I think it’s fair to say we won’t be seeing Heskey start.

To those of the opinion we should be nurturing our young talent is there a place for Clark, Delph or even Albrighton? Delfouneso played well for the England kids again and had a good game by all accounts so should he be in contention?

I think we’ll score late in the first half, O'Neill has a shout at half time and we come out all guns blazing, score two before the hour and for good measure, I think Blues will get a late consolation. 1-3 to the Villa and happy trip home.

Fingers crossed for a brilliant game, but the right result at the end of the day.