It's another one of those can't afford to lose matches. The victory against Swansea has basically kept us in the hunt and that's how it is in this League. You win to stay in the game and its others losing that means we climb the table.
And we want to climb the table. But just because we want something doesn't mean we should get it. We're a Championship club now, we're no longer a relegated Premier League side.
And Preston are 16th so while you can be forgiven for thinking that means we should have a good chance and yes, the bookmakers have us down as favorites, it doesn't mean it's a banker bet. I'll not be betting on us.
And that loops back to our status as a Championship club because there are no easy games in this League even if some are seen as bankers.
Last game of 2018
So with all this written, it's kick off in a few hours. Until then, I'm going to hit the slopes, because that's what we do on a Saturday morning with snow on the ground. But, I did write a post the other day that I think I should link to. It's my state of Aston Villa in 2018. A lot has happened.
From the fake Doctor getting found out to Dean Smith, a lot outside of the football has happened and we can hope that we're on the right path. Click here to read and I'll be back at 3pm for the match. Until then a video and some edited facts from the BBC.
Video of the day
Slightly edited match facts from the BBC
- Preston have only won one of their last 14 meetings against Aston Villa in all competitions - the 2-0 win in October 2016 which resulted in Roberto di Matteo being sacked.
- The last seven second-tier meetings at Deepdale between Preston and Aston Villa have had only 11 goals, six for Preston, five for Villa.
- Preston's 1-2 defeat against Hull City last time out ended a six-match unbeaten run on home soil.
- Villa have lost just once in their last nine league matches, the last-gasp pre-Christmas 3-2 defeat by Leeds United.
- Since making his debut in January 2017, Conor Hourihane has been directly involved in more league goals (27) than any other Villa player (16 goals, 11 assists).
- Villa boss Dean Smith has alternated between victory and defeat in his last seven visits to Deepdale. But he won last time out 3-2, with Brentford in October 2017.