Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand)

– Chris Samba is proving to be an able JT deputy.

Many Villa fans, including myself, thought Mile Jedinak would be able to fill the John Terry shaped hole in defence after it was revealed the former Chelsea captain was set for a spell on the side lines. However, Chris Samba was one of our best performers tonight at centre back, winning pretty much everything in the air. It’s only a matter of time before he grabs a goal from a set-piece too.

– Villa returning to old counter attacking ways?

Despite only having 43% possession, we made a lot better use of the ball than our North East neighbours, almost doubling their shot count. There were flashes of past Villa teams tonight with our counter-attacks, especially in the first-half. The surprise element of our forward forays meant that our attacks were a lot more meaningful than Sunderland’s.

– Goals are continuing to be spread around the team.

Last season Johnathan Kodjia scored a huge 40% of our goals. The Ivorian has struggled with injury and fitness this season, but luckily others have stepped up. Albert Adomah got his eighth of the season tonight, while Onomah popped up with his second. We’ve also got Connor Hourihane on five goals, already equalling the total of our second top scorer last season Jack Grealish.

– The starting eleven looks to be settled for the coming weeks.

Even though Jack Grealish is back from injury now, the Birmingham born midfielder along with a number of others looks set to struggle to get into a pretty settled starting XI. It’ll be interesting to see what the likes of Henri Lansbury and Bikir Bjarnason do too, will they be content with a place on the bench or look for a move away in January?

– Is it time to think about automatics?

In my humble opinion, Wolves Championship promotion is a forgone conclusion, at least it looks that way at the moment. However, Sheffield United leaked five goals against Fulham tonight, plus Cardiff only beat Barnsley with a Callum Paterson goal with less than ten minutes to go. With Villa only five points off, is it time to consider automatic promotion as a real possibility?

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