|Aston Villa 1 v 3 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 21st December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Aston Villa The Preview
Friday, 20th Dec 2019 11:51
Not so much a must win game but one we mustn't lose after two straight defeats have put us in danger of losing touch with those above us.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has to do something different this game to stir things up in his squad after several games unchanged.
The one thing that is constant though is the poor defending and the gifting of goals as was against evidenced in West Ham's winner last weekend, but there is little Ralph can do until January and he and the club have already shown their intent to deal with this in the upcoming window.
But for now he has to persevere and as I have been saying all season it is a case of getting away with it sometimes and this needs to be one of those games.
It looks like we will be without Moussa Djenepo with a hamstring injury and this could be one enforced change and I think there could be one more.
I would make those switches to shore up the midfield, I would bring in Stuart Armstrong for Djenepo and I would consider sacrificing Shane Long up front to bring in Oriol Romeu.
That would allow us to have a solid central trio of Romeu. Hojbjerg and Ward Prowse with Redmond and Armstrong out wide, we need to get a grip of the game in the midfield, stop the opposition running at us and splitting the defence and then look to get Danny Ings involved up front.
We seem to start badly so in this one I think we need to be cautious to start with and then build on it.
These are the only two changes I would make from the starting line up against West Ham and it will leave us options from the bench including Long, Adams and Obafemi should we need to go for goals.
The main thing though is not to lose touch with those above us over the Xmas period, we know what our problem is and to be blunt if we deal with it in January by bringing in a central defender then we will stay up, if we don't then we are in trouble.
So in the next fortnight we need to keep our heads above water and be ready to surge in the New Year with some new faces, we do not want to be playing catch up.
So a game we should go in with confidence aside from our defence, but in the rest of the side we need a few to find their form, Nathan Redmond and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg have been woefully out of form in the past couple of games and owe us a big game, hopefully this will be it.
The festive season sorts out the men from the boys, we need to stand up and be counted on and off the pitch, remember a football team is for life not for Xmas.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
There’s enough doom and gloom about concerning the coronavirus pandemic to last several lifetimes, and let’s face it, 2020 really does suck. I’m pretty sure we’re all in need of some positivity right now, something to set our sights on, a goal if you will. Mine came to me in a blinding flash of inspiration as I prepared my wake-up mug of caffeine this morning – never, in all my years of following Colchester United, have I got even close to watching every single match of a season. I suspect I’m not alone in that, even diehards like noah must miss the occasional one or two each season. Kind of thanks to coronavirus (bizarre huh) and the relaxed approach to match streaming on Saturdays, I’m currently on 8/8, today being the 9th. Why not, I thought, make it all season without missing a game? There’s a lot of ifs, buts and maybes in that, not least if we do emerge from this crisis before the end of the season and the streaming gets canned, but for now I have my goal…
Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
Letters from Wiltshire #07 by wessex_exile
Welcome to Matchday #4 everyone, with the U’s making a reasonably solid start to the league campaign, undefeated, two clean sheets, only one goal conceded and sitting comfortably just outside the play-offs. I’d probably feel more comfortable if we were scoring a few more at the other end, so it’s good to see Chuck getting back into action. The big news that’s grabbing most of the column inches now is of course that President Trump is in hospital with coronavirus. Now there are many out there in the social media world who consider this somewhat poetic irony, given his (mixed) messaging on the subject since the crisis began, and there are more than a few wishing that it ends very badly for Trump. I’m not one of them, but I was reminded this morning of a famous quote “I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction”. Often misattributed to Mark Twain, it was Clarence Darrow in his 1932 work The Story of My Life. For those, like me, who consider Inherit the Wind probably the best courtroom drama ever made, Darrow was the lawyer in the real Scopes Monkey Trial.
Letters from Wiltshire #06 by wessex_exile
Here we are again, back in the (now) much-maligned EFL Trophy and a home tie against West Ham United U21s, and I think probably our last chance to stay in the competition? Robbie’s most recent rallying cry has been to “buy, buy, buy” when it comes to iFollow streams, and with the likelihood of supporters getting to matches receding, making streaming probably our only viable revenue stream, who can blame him. As an exile, I was never expecting I’d have many opportunities to see the U’s in the flesh this season, so he’s rather preaching to the converted as far as I’m concerned, but I do like the loyalty scheme he’s put together.
Away days by Andyconky
Many pounds have been spent and many train tracks have been travelled but who doesn't love an away day. Doesn't matter if its Chester or Chelsea or Lincoln or Liverpool, it's all good fun with a sense of adventure of what may happen.
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