Imagining there may be one or two hangovers this morning after Villa stretched their winning streak to eight yesterday and gave supporters hope that something really has changed. Because even without Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings, Villa were still far too much for Bristol City, who left Villa Park on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline that could’ve looked a lot different.
And then there were five. With 41 played, sixth-placed Bristol City come to Villa Park in a big late-season clash for both clubs. Do Villa keep on winning? Is it time for the bubble to burst?
Six left, and the one up tonight is a real banana-skin. Rotherham, bang in the middle of the relegation fight, are not going to roll over meekly, and certainly not at home. And Villa, sitting sixth, have little room for error. Which is a bit harsh after six wins in a row. But that’s how it is when you go on a late run.
And then there were seven. Games that it is. And the one today is as interesting as it gets when it comes to subplots, because Steve Bruce will be standing on the touchline with Villa on the pitch, only this time he’ll be trying to get his Sheffield Wednesday side to put a dent in his former club’s promotion hopes and avenge the Cabbage of Fate.
We’re back for the run-in. Eight matches left, the first being Blackburn at Villa Park this afternoon. Villa are as healthy as they’ve been all season, Smith has good options, and it’s just a question of whether the side can keep the momentum they had going into the break.