Lunch with Luke competition, Wigan tomorrow and a funny old game

Football is a funny old game. Tomorrow is getting labeled a must-win game by some, the Nottingham Forest manager has left the Club sitting in seventh place in the League and I'm starting to think I've got a man crush on Jack Grealish. Oh and we've got a competition to win Lunch With Luke Roper in his box at the Ipswich Game in a couple of weeks.

It's maybe not a man crush but I am hoping we get through January quickly and without too much to be concerned about because I think he's the player that will determine if we go up or not this season. And I know it's wrong to put that on one person, mostly because it's about the manager, not Jack. But I have that optimism.

In other news, before we get to Wigan and the competition, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has joined Cambridge on loan until the end of the season. And this is going to be the making of him. What I mean is, it has to be good for him. He's 20 years old, brought up in the system and he's got to make it work. That will happen with hard work.

It's the system that either makes or brakes a player these days. He's grown up knowing only this and Cambridge is going to be an eye opener for him. He's going to go there, from the bigger Club and how he fits in and performs will determine if he's successful away from Cambridge .. as in back with us.

And we want Rushian Hepburn-Murphy to make it with us because he's one of ours, even if he did appear to hesitate to sign a new contract.

Wigan tomorrow

So about the game tomorrow and it's not a must win game but we do have to win it. You know what I mean. Wigan have 26 points and we're in desperate need of getting into the top six. That isn't going to happen if we don't win these types of matches.

So that said, we'll focus on the match tomorrow. Jack and Alex are still out but we might see Hause start. I've got a feeling it's going to be a good Saturday night.

Match facts from the BBC

  • Wigan have lost each of their last three league meetings against Aston Villa, as many defeats as in their previous nine such encounters (P9 W2 D4 L3).
  • After losing on their first ever league visit to the DW Stadium back in April 2006, Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last eight such games on the road against Wigan (P8 W5 D3 L0).
  • Wigan have lost their last three home league games without scoring a single goal. They have not suffered four consecutive home defeats without scoring since December 2016.
  • Aston Villa last went six away league games without defeat back in February 2009, when they won seven straight Premier League matches under manager Martin O'Neill.
  • Only Reading (10) are currently enduring a longer winless run in the Championship than Wigan (7).
  • Aston Villa (23) have lost more points from leading positions in the Championship this season than any other side.

Competition: Lunch with Luke

So, to our competition with Luke 1977 and I know you know who they are.

The prize is a great one; it's lunch for two with Luke Roper at the Ipswich Game on Saturday 26th January, in the Luke box. I'm not promising anything else because I can't, but this brand doesn't do things by half, so I've got a feeling it will be a very special day. You just have to get there if you win and I'd get early if I were you.

To win, it's the first person to guess correctly (or closest) the attendance of every Championship game taking place on Saturday January 19th. You can make your guess up to kick off of our game against Hull on the 19th and the guess has to be on this post or on a very specific Tweet that is re-tweeted with a guess.

If it's not in this post or on that Tweet, it isn't going to be tracked and it will the first to get it or be closest .. just in case more than one of you get it right or you're equally as close. Only a number, if you want to comment on the post or something else, post a new comment and the number has to be with no spaces.

So, if I've not made myself clear, to be in with a chance of winning lunch with Luke Roper, place a number in the comment section below of how many people you think will attend the ten Championship matches on January 19th (a comment with just your guess with no spaces). The winner will be announced on January 20th and I'll be using the attendance numbers as reported by the BBC.

I should also say that I'm not getting paid to do this competition or share any links, it's just that Luke is a reader of the blog and he's in a position to offer it up. And I suppose if you were a Villa fan and you got the chance to offer this up, you'd probably do the same. That it's a lovely kit, he's local and a fan, it's what it's all about for me.

And if this goes well, I have a feeling they'll be a competition or two more coming up. So, thanks Luke and up the Villa!

Interview with the manager