The Doc's Prognosis: Bloody Sunday

You've got to give it to them, haven't you? We all thought, and dare say hoped and expected, that the clowns would be down there with Hull and Burnley, scrapping in their mud-pit for every last fraction of a point to avoid the inevitable.

But Big Feck has surprised us. Staving off the inevitable, for sure - but that is, however you look at it, no small achievement. The Noses have earned themselves another season in the big time, and though it will all end in misery, wailing and howling twelve months hence, I hope the pigs can at least enjoy their short spell in the weak Spring sunshine.

Some commentators have been writing about Villa's wobbly home form and shaky fitness, suggesting that this might not be a great time for us to be playing the Blues. There have been suggestions that there might not be enough left in our eleven's weary legs to counter the Noses' hunger to turn us over. How wrong can you be?

Every day is a fabulous day to play Birmingham City. Every day is a fabulous day to welcome them to Villa Park. Every day is a fabulous day to allow them to warm up and play on a world-class playing surface in a superb stadium against opponents backed by unrivalled support. Every day is a fabulous day to show Birmingham City Football Club why they are not on the same planet as Aston Villa.

And Sunday won't be any different. It will still be a fabulous day to meet the Blues, and a fabulous day to send them back home with everything they deserve and usually get. Nothing. Nichts. Nada. Null. Naff all.

Because for all that has been written, is being written now, and will be written in the run-up to Sunday, Aston Villa are a better football team than Birmingham City. The eleven players who line up on the emerald Villa Park turf on Sunday afternoon are, man-for-man, all better players than the eleven who will face them.

City will fight and scrap, pull and tug, oink and screech. But Villa will play football, and Villa's football will win.

And it will be a beautiful day. Because sometimes football isn't a "game of two halves". Sometimes it isn't "eleven against eleven". Sometimes, in derby games, it isn't a case of "anything can happen".

No. On this occasion, the most pure and simple law of the universe is going to prevail. The better team is going to win.

And I can't wait. Up the Villa!