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Two days to go, Bournemouth, fantasy football and a sort of season prediction

It's here. No more friendlies or women's football. Proper football is back. That isn't to say friendlies and women's football isn't fun or proper football, but it's not what we all want to be watching. Friendlies mean nothing and I struggle at the best of times to follow England, let alone women's football. This really is what it's all about.

And unless I'm massively mistaken, we are ready for this season in a way we haven't been for a long time. And having last season to learn and this summer to build, Steven Gerrard could not have asked for more or a better opportunity.


We have cover in every position and we have some very talented players and this has to be the season where we see the manager find his formation and approach and stick to it. This is the season we have to finish better than 11th and end up where I predicted we were going to finish last season before all that change happened.

And my prediction at this time last season was eighth and that has to be the target for this season, despite finishing last season three places worse off that our first season back in the Premier League with Dean Smith. You see, we have better and more players this season and if we can't hope for eighth, we're in the wrong business.

It starts at Bournemouth

Now, just because they are newly promoted, it doesn't mean this is going to be an easy three points against Bournemouth. And just because Scotty Parker looked like a deer caught in the headlights last time he managed in the Premier League, it doesn't mean he hasn't got better.

As a player, Parker was unlucky. As a manager, he is very serious and in the Championship, he has guided Fulham and now Bournemouth to promotion. That doesn't happen by chance.

Last season Bournemouth were promoted automatically, finishing second to Fulham, the side he left to take over at Bournemouth. You could look at that and say little has changed and you could look at that and take from it that we should win tomorrow.

We should and if we don't it will be a surprise and Steven Gerrard should have his preferred formation by now and an approach focused on creating chances, not sitting back or hitting long. And because he should have that and he's had the pre-season and we have far superior players, we should win.

Fantasy football league

Right, with that said there is something quite important this season and it's the fantasy football. Click here to join The Villa Blog fantasy football game and stand a chance to win some great monthly prizes or the big prize at the end of the season.

More information is coming about prizes, but it will be monthly and it will be winner of league but I'm not confirming what the prizes are or what they will be awarded for, mostly because I don't know having not played this game before and what data I can get my hands on. It's also worth noting also that the prize for the season doesn't have to going to the match, it could also be equivalent value in product from Luke 1977 as not everyone is in a position to go to Villa Park.

And I will be closing the league from new teams at some stage in the near future. So if you haven't joined, click here to join before I close it.