So I talked about draws, and how we weren’t getting enough. We got one last night. Wasn’t easy, but it was hard-earned and well-enough deserved. Finally getting a result from a winning position against a top team on the road is huge, and that’s the real takeaway for me. It should give the players belief, in both the system and themselves.
The Foxes have torn us apart once already, and now we get two extra rounds with them. With points to play for at the weekend, I hate to see such a challenging cup-tie midweek. Be nice if it were Everton, for example. Or Bolton. But it is what it is.
Villa managed to record a vital, but costly, away win at Turf Moor on New Year’s Day, outlasting Burnley 1-2. The match was notable not only for getting us back out of the drop zone and seeing a new formation from Dean Smith, but also sadly for season-ending injuries to Wesley and Tom Heaton. What already looked to be an extremely important window suddenly became even more so.
Villa’s stretch of matches against fellow cellar dwellers didn’t get off to such a great start Saturday, but the side rebounded on Boxing Day, securing a crucial three points against visiting Norwich with a 1-0 victory.
Fresh on the heels of a relatively successful visit to Old Trafford, Villa head to Stamford Bridge to see if they can get more points off another big side. Could be tough with Chelsea losing to West Ham at the weekend, as they’ll obviously be looking for a response. But if, as Dean Smith says, Villa can keep their organization and concentration, it would be quite a statement to follow up the 2-2 draw with United by getting something tonight.