It’s becoming more and more and more likely the Villa will end up in the dreaded play-offs with Cardiff City snatching draw at Bramall Lane yesterday.
However, there’s still seven league games to play, and for our 40th, at home to Reading, I’ve asked long time Reading fan Matt Cooper (@MattCooperSJ) who writes for fan blog The Tilehurst End.
How would you rate your season so far out of 10?
3. It was always going to be difficult for Reading to replicate the outstanding season we had last year but everyone expected better than this. Personally I thought mid-table would be about our level but the lack of a new, consistent goal-scorer, a like-for-like replacement for Danny Williams and injuries to key defenders have really hampered us so far. I think we’re really lucky that there are worse teams than us in the league, but we’ve still got a lot of difficult fixtures in our last seven.
Paul Clement, a solid appointment or an uninspired one?
I think Paul Clement is definitely a solid appointment for the situation that we are in now. He’s obviously saved a team from relegation before in Swansea, albeit not in the Championship, and was the best appointment we could make at the time. As a long term appointment I am a bit more sceptical as both Swansea and Derby fans have complained about his style of football and after experiencing Jaap Stam’s negative and unexciting football, a manager who plays similarly is the last thing we need.
Which QPR players should Villa be wary of?
Modou Barrow has been one of the very few good signings for us this season. He has our second highest amount of goals this season and his explosive pace and trickery has been one of our most potent threats. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is our top scorer and if fit will be another threat. Liam Kelly and John Swift are our two most technically gifted and attacking midfielders and have the ability to create something out of nothing. Liam Moore is an outstanding defender on his day and was immense in our last game against QPR, but he and Chris Gunter are really the only two you can rely on in our defence.
If you could, which past Reading player would you bring into the starting XI?
Gylfi Sigurdsson. He is undoubtedly the best player to ever come through our academy and his goals, assists and just all-around quality in general would be a massive lift to the club.
If you were Paul Clement and had to sign one Aston Villa player for Reading, who would it be?
A fit Jonathan Kodjia. Reading desperately needed a proven Championship goal scorer at the start of the season and we were linked heavily with the likes of Nelson Oliveira and Jordan Hugill. A fit Jonathan Kodjia guarantees you goals which is something we desperately need right now.
If you were stuck on a desert island with one other Royals player, who would it be?
Tyler Blackett. Simply to keep such a defensive liability from making any more mistakes.
Score prediction for Tuesday?
2-0 Aston Villa. As much as I’d love to say we will do the double over Villa I simply can’t see it being anything over than a comfortable win for Villa.