Aston Villa v Wigan: Updates, team news and three points please

I'm asking nicely. Not even demanding even though it is Wigan and they're doomed for relegation one season soon even though they are playing football like Liverpool.

And had we had this game before Chelsea and Spurs, you'd put your mortgage on us winning, or a large amount of the spare change in your pocket. Things were looking to good back then ... a couple of weeks ago.


But things change quickly in football. Lambert was loved on December 15th after we turned over Liverpool in their back garden. If he loses today there will be people calling for his head. If he loses today, would you be surprised?

Early team news

I don't think if anyone predicted the team today they'd get it right. Before Lambert came in there was a lot of talk that he would rotate players and I've got to tell you, I can't see it. Sure, there are changes, but they seem reactive changes, as if he is dropping players.

My point is, after the Spurs spanking, what is he going to do; go back to the same team that got double spanked by Chelsea? If he does, what signals does that send out to the players and supporters. Madness is great, as long as there is some method.

It's like Benteke. You could hear it in his voice when he was first called 'unplayable', it was like a massive justification for leaving Bent out. Then Bent is fit again and Benteke isn't unplayable but he still gets the nod ahead of Bent.

It's not about rotation. It's about who he wants playing his way of football and who he likes. Today, I hope we treat Liverpool like Wigan (see what I've done there) and let them come at us but score on the counter. I'm not convinced we can take it to teams based on what I have seen this season.

I am however convinced that the back five (or three) will throw themselves in front of anything and maybe, that is what we have to do. Let Wigan come at us and defend by throwing ourselves at everything and hope we get them lured into our own half so when Guzan (I hope he starts the goals were not his fault) gets hold of the ball, he can pass long to Benteke and we can maybe get something.

Updates and the banter

Don't think that what I've written above is depressing, but if by playing that way we get something, then that is what we've got to begin with. Lets start getting something and worry about the details later.

This is a six pointer today and we need something and what we actually need is all three points and unless we get them, it might turn nasty later.

So, as soon as team news is out, it will be posted below and no doubt a link or three will also be posted below. I'll do my best to integrate Twitter comments to this page too with observations from a wise old man .. and me. Until then, time for a beer.

The players

Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Bennett, Holman, Herd, Lichaj, Weimann, Bannan, Ireland and Benteke all start. On the bench we have Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Westwood, Bowery, Stevens and Carruthers.