Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Mark Jirobe (@VillaMarkPGH)
Sitting 9th on the table, Ipswich Town will find themselves at Villa Park to take on 4th place Aston Villa.


It felt so good to type that last bit out.

Getting on with it, Ipswich are only six points behind Villa at the moment. With Cardiff City and Wolverhampton Wanderers continuing to cement themselves in the top two spots on the table, this would be a fantastic time for Villa to begin to close the gap on 3rd place Sheffield Wednesday.

After a less than stellar performance earlier in the week against Sunderland that saw a win, Villa would love to continue their winning ways of late with three points at home. Dr. Tony Xia has recently lightly scolded the Villa supporters for being a bit too quiet for his taste, and you really can’t blame him. Hopefully the fans pay Dr. Tony back with an absolutely thundering reply.

Ipswich are managed by the always vocal Mick McCarthy, and he has been in the hot seat for Ipswich since November of 2012. He has managed Ipswich 252 times, winning 96, drawing 72, and losing 84 matches. McCarthy is known to play a standard 4-4-2 formation and that will not change against Villa. Ipswich have conceded a head-scratching 26 goals so far this season, which is uncharacteristic for a side that is managed by McCarthy. If Villa can exploit Ipswich in the offensive side of the pitch, it could be a long match for McCarthy and his Ipswich players.

The leading goal scorer for Ipswich this season is 24 year old English centre-forward Martyn Waghorn. Waghorn has 9 goals and 3 assists to his name in 15 apps. Although a pretty good run of form for him, he is at Ipswich on loan from Rangers FC. His pairing centre-forward, David McGoldrick, is an Ipswich man by contract and has netted 6 goals, and assisting on 4 others. The Aston Villa defence could very well have another scrappy affair on their hands if these two strikers are not watched very carefully. Waghorn is a striker who prefers to score his goals right down the middle, while McGoldrick likes to get himself into the penalty area to cause havoc with headers.

A change of personnel may be on the cards for Aston Villa, but don’t hold your breath to see wholesale changes. Manager Steve Bruce has stated in his post-match press conference that the form of Josh Onomah and Albert Adomah will be making it very hard for Jack Grealish to get into the side, and the same goes for Mile Jedinak. It would make more sense for Bruce to keep the same exact starting eleven, but we very well may see Jedinak get the start over Glenn Whelan.

As previously stated, Villa sit 4th on the table with 32 points from 18 games. Sitting in 3rd are Sheffield United with 36 points. Although a win against Ipswich Town will not see Villa jump up to 3rd position, it is absolutely vital that Villa keep on achieving three points from matches for the forseeable future to close the gap and overtake Sheffield United. With Dr. Tony lightly criticizing the fans, a lacklustre performance earlier in the week, and high league position, Aston Villa have it all to play for in this game.

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