|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
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 30 bloggers
Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Lincoln 27/10/18 by wessex_exile
Firstly, my apologies that this is a bit later than usual – it’s been a pretty hectic week at work, and by the time I got home last night, I was ready for a few beers and not a lot more. As we approach a vital double-header at home for the U’s promotion challenge, and on 12 games unbeaten, we come right up to date with an equally vital home game from last season.
Matches of Yesteryear - Cheltenham v U's 22/2/03 by wessex_exile
The U’s travel to the Globe Arena tomorrow, aiming at the very least to keep the unbeaten run going – though in truth after three somewhat disappointing draws against Exeter, Crawley and Stevenage, surely nothing less than three points is acceptable? Ahead of this trip, the Matches of Yesteryear random number generator has chosen a match which for me has a particularly bitter-sweet poignancy.
Manager interviews: Graham Barrow 1996-1999 by fitzochris
One name in Rochdale’s modern history that seems to be knocked more than most is that of Graham Barrow.
Matches of Yesteryear - Newport v U's 14/1/17 by wessex_exile
Ahead of tomorrow’s match at Stevenage, the Matches of Yesteryear random match selector has chosen one with some familiar faces in, one or two of whom we will see tomorrow, and one we probably won’t.
Matches of Yesteryear - Notts County v U's 21/3/98 by wessex_exile
And so we come to the end of 2019 – halfway through a season that promises much, so it seems appropriate that we dip into the 1997/98 season for this blog. May I take the opportunity to wish you all a very Healthy, Prosperous and most of all Happy New Year, starting of course with three points for the U’s against Crawley tomorrow.
[ Vote here ]