I didn’t mind the way we went about things on Tuesday.
But we shouldn’t keep offering the same respect to lesser sides in the early stages of games and surrendering territory.
I’m thinking about Newcastle, Southampton, Brighton and even Albion to an extent, where the game was being played almost exclusively in our half for the first 20 minutes.
Whether that means taking more risks and playing with a higher defensive line or just upping the effort levels in the opening exchanges, something has to change.
As good as Villa have been at times this season, this is a highly winnable game, but only if we cut out the errors and produce a more even performance.
Will Jack Grealish play? That’s the big question.
We can rightly point out that he hasn’t produced a fat lot against us in the past, but his mere presence on the pitch elevates this Villa team to another level.
They did well to grind out a result at Leeds without him but have lost the other two games and over a long sequence of fixtures, will suffer if he doesn’t recover from his shin injury.
When the going was really good earlier in the season, I thought they looked a really top side with Grealish, Watkins and Barkley in tandem and McGinn and Luiz supporting.
In more recent times, Dean Smith has moved a few of the pieces around though and they don’t seem to have that same cohesion.
They can fall back on one of the best defensive records in the league though with just 27 conceded, meaning they’re invariably in games even when they’re not winning them.
There was a time when European football looked possible, but they’d really have to turn it on again from this point to make that a reality and looking at their remaining fixtures, I can’t see it.
The home end
Some thoughts lifted from the pre-match thread on the Villa Talk forum.
This has got 0-0 written all over it. Neither team scores goals.
I won £35 tonight having backed Sheff Utd (following team selection). Just put the lot on Wolves at 2-1. We are so poor at the minute and they, although not great, still have a solid defence and attackers who can hurt you on the break. Easy win for them.
1-0 to whoever scores first. On current form and available players 2 poor teams that struggle to create anything.
Tonight hasn’t really changed what I think for this. 1-1. Wolves better in recent weeks but still don’t score much and neither do we in recent times.
Only hope for me is if Jack plays then we’ll get a boost. Wolves are finding form so otherwise maybe we’ll scrape a draw. That defeat yesterday was a real down to earth moment.
Not very hopeful for this one. Maybe we’ll get something. I would like to see Douglas Luiz brought back, maybe Trez in for Traore, and unless he’s absolutely bossing it at training John McGinn needs to sit on the bench for me.
If Boly is fit enough to start, I’d put him back in for Dendoncker, who struggled at City.
Some would like to see Fabio get a start, but I’d prefer the physical presence of Jose. Even if he’s not producing the goods himself, he’s helping get better performances from our wide players.
Moutinho still seems to be receiving a lot of criticism from some supporters but he won the free-kick and put it on a plate for Coady on Tuesday. We need to look hard at the midfield in the summer but for now, he’s still an important player for me.
Last time out
It was a frustrating performance at Molineux earlier in the season in a stop-start game where we ultimately surrendered the error, with Semedo getting beaten and then fouling McGinn for the late penalty.
We won at Villa Park last season, grinding out a 1-0 in the sunshine thanks to Leander Dendoncker’s fine finish.
Nobody predicted the 4-1 scoreline against City (there were a couple of 4-0 forecasts).
Bedford Wolf still has the outright lead in the overall table at the end of Gameweek 27.
As always if you’d like to join in, simply leave your prediction for this game in the comment section below, which is where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!