As Dean Smith plays out these final matches, it’s clear he’s taking a long look at what he’s got and basically auditioning the squad in advance of the summer. I’m not expecting him to unearth any surprises, as I’m pretty sure they know what they’ve got. But, you keep faith with your players by giving them every chance to finish what they started. And there’ll be some big decisions to make. It’s a tricky moment. Stalwarts and ever-presents may becomes substitutes in three months.
Villa found themselves down a man against Crystal Palace and took the game by the scruff of the neck to sweep aside the Eagles 3-0 with two second-half goals. Now it’s Chelsea, and the 48-hour turn. Lampard’s men looked sluggish and devoid of ideas against Arsenal, which, unfortunately, means Frank will be demanding a response.
Palace have got that Liverpool drubbing in their minds. Inspiration? You never know, but I’m betting they’re going to want to acquit themselves a bit better.
The weekend draws to a close with Villa at The Hawthorns tonight following a dominating but goalless performance against Burnley. Who can forget the drama of our last visit?
Fresh off Villa’s opening win Monday, we’re right back to the League, er Carabao, Cup, traveling to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City, who sit second in the Championship having won their first two.