James Collins and Nigel Reo-Coker both go back to a former club tonight and I have a feeling one will get a good reception and one wont and you know I can smell three points, much like you can smell a greasy kebab van from 300 feet at 3am on a Saturday morning walking the streets of East London after walking out of a dodgy strip club and drinking enough alcohol to put a normal man of normal size asleep for a good few hours.
I only mention that as it was something I did on a Thursday night a few years ago while working in Clerkenwell and I can tell you that it is almost impossible to find a shop around that part of London open at 8am to buy a new pair of socks. Shirt and tie is no problem, but socks - no chance.
Anyway, there will be changes tonight. Carlos is suspended for this game so there is a chance Beye might start or you never know, Luke Young might also get a game if he is fit and I sort of fancy that if he is, he'll start ahead of Beye. Beye looks like one of those players that O'Neill has bought and almost instantly regretted it.
I actually quite like him and have to say I was surprised he didn't get a proper run to show us what he has, but O'Neill is the manager and he has honed his skills over years, so he must know what he is doing.
Cha Cha Cha Changes
There is also every chance that Petrov and Milner wont make tonight after both picked up knocks at the weekend dropped points match at Everton. Milner came off at half time in that match while Petrov was replaced very late on by Reo-Coker. None of this is yet confirmed but even if they are, the players that will be replacing them are, for me anyway, more than stand in players, so it shouldn't disrupt the team momentum.
You have to fancy that Reo-Coker will start if Petrov is not available but you might also not be surprised if Delph got a run, but if he did pick Delph to play alongside Sidwell in the middle, I know I'd be hearing groans, but I'd quite like to see it. I would much rather see us play with three in the middle if Delph starts and I'm not saying he isn't up for it, I'm just saying that I think there needs to be a level of protection for a player that carries so much expectation on his shoulders.
But a central midfielder for a central midfielder is a fairly straight swap. The big decision tonight is who to replace James Milner with, if he doesn't make it. Now, you've got to hope that Marc Albrighton gets the nod, I'm sure the player does too and based on his performances in the pre-season tournament that we won, you might even be a little surprised that he hasn't featured more already, but the thing is, O'Neill doesn't go on positions, he does tend to go on players he likes.
I'm not saying he doesn't like Albrighton, but he isn't one of his players and never will be. Albrighton is from a time before O'Neill got here and while he has featured, maybe O'Neill is waiting to hear or see something from the player that makes him his. I hope he gets the chance tonight, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Heskey playing for Milner or Cueller and us only improve the number of players we use this season by one or two.
Where to Watch
You could pop down to the pub or you could watch at Villa Streams. I for one would pick the pub but if you can't and you are stuck at work or an airport terminal and need to watch the match, you know the best option. Otherwise, I have a feeling you might find a link or two in the comment below closer to kick off.
West Ham: The London Spammers
I call them spammers as they'll be a few leaving comments here today that won't get published and they are the worst team from London when it comes to abusive comments and well, it doesn't matter what I say, it will happen, but I have a bit of time for West Ham.
Not as a football club or because I have any liking towards them, but because of Gianfranco Zola. He was one of those players you turned on to watch a game for and he was an absolute football genius, still is and that is why I have a bit of time for West Ham.
I'd love to see him do well. The football that I saw them play last season was fairly decent and it was clear what he was trying to do and I for one hope he achieves it over time. You actually want players like that to make good managers because players like that will only create teams that play good football. It's good for everyone.
I have to say an away win tonight, but it ultimately doesn't matter what the result it. It does, but if we win it is an expected result based on current form and league position but if we lose, they'll still be those that defend the defeat by saying we're seventh in the table. A draw will be a good result away from home and that will be after 3 shots on target in ninety minutes.
So, I'm saying an away win, because we are due a good performances and you have to assume that West Ham are going to come at us, which is exactly what we need from the opposition, to allow us to play our almost long ball, counter attacking football. We will go fourth too and for that reason, I don't mind if it is long ball football, as long as it is three points.
Player to Watch
If he plays, Carlton Cole will want to do well and he might. He is turning into a very decent player and one maybe we should have done more to keep hold of when we had the opportunity, although it never really seemed to happen for him with us, but you can be excuses for blaming the manager of the time.
For us, it has to be Ashley Young. It will come good for him sooner or later and I for one hope it happens tonight. He is no Ronaldo but he does have qualities that you don't often see in a footballer. It is getting to that stage thought that we need to see it again and on a regular basis. If he doesn't shine, then you've got to fancy we are going to need Collins and Dunne to have good games, which they will.
Friedel, Beye, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Young, Sidwell, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Carew.
Subs: Guzan, Luke Young, Shorey, Albrighton, Delph, Reo-Coker and Delfouneso.