We head back from our travels to Villa Park in tremendous form, set to take on newly promoted Bolton Wanderers who have lost 8 of their 10 league games so far. Bolton will be looking for an upset here, but with confidence flowing Villa will be looking to go into the international break on fire.
Unbeaten in 7 and having won our last 3 matches, we’ll unlikely see any changes to our starting XI; a team that is slowly beginning to look like one that can really play football, keep possession and score goals, as we saw from our 4-0 win against Burton Albion a few days ago.
Bolton, currently sitting bottom of the table with 2 points, will be hoping to do the unthinkable at Villa Park and manager Phil Parkinson knows all about causing upsets in Aston after he knocked us out of the League Cup semi-final in 2013 with Bradford City.
Steve Bruce has beaten Bolton in 9 of the last 11 home league games he has played against them.
The match will be Steve Bruce’s 50th in charge, and although for a long period of time we looked nervous and unable to string together passes on the deck, it does seem to be coming together finally. It comes after Bruce feared for his job just a few games ago, at least according to Harry Redknapp (take it with a pinch of salt), and Bruce is firmly aware that there is still more work to be done if we’re to be promoted back to the Premier League.
Gabby Agbonlahor is back from injury and will likely make the bench, while Adam Armstrong looks set to return from injury for the opposition. Although Filipe Morais is suspended, Jem Karacan makes his return from suspension for Bolton.
Bolton Wanderers have failed to score a single goal in their last 5 league matches whilst conceding an incredible 11 goals, and look like their stay in the Championship may be a short one. They’ve only scored one goal from open play this season so far, and it’s likely their main threat will come from set pieces. In contrast, only 4 of the 21 goals Bolton have conceded have been from set pieces, they look pretty sturdy at defending corners/free kicks in comparison to open play.
Opposition Danger Man:
Gary Madine is Bolton’s top scorer despite only netting twice this campaign, and he’ll be hoping to beat Terry and Chester’s formidable partnership in the air.
Andre Green (injured), Mile Jedinak (injured), Jack Grealish (injured), Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (injured).
Predicted Starting XI:
Kick-off: Saturday 30th September ’17, 15:00PM (GMT).
TV Coverage: AVTV Live (Digital), iFollow Bolton (Digital).
Unibet Boosted Odds: Jonathan Kodjia first to score 7/2
Result prediction for today's home fixture against Bolton? #AVFC
— The Holte (@TheHolteTweets) September 30, 2017
We’ve shown over the last few games that we’re more than good enough to compete at the top end of this league, and getting a win today would take us into the international break absolutely bubbling with confidence. This game should give us a chance to really keep the ball and push forward with freedom against a team that looks like they haven’t even finished pre-season yet.
A home win and a few more goals will have us not only up in the play-off positions, but we’ll have our scope firmly set over the heads of Cardiff and Sheffield United for those automatic places.