Villa have the chance to bounce back after Saturday’s defeat this evening as they host Preston North End. To get the lowdown on the Lilywhite’s, I’ve asked long-time fan and football coach Jon (@jaingham123).
Are you happy with the business Preston did in the transfer window?
I’m not really able to answer this one as yet.
Three signings incoming but only Billy Bodin has had the game time to reflect on so far. He seems more than capable and has fitted in well on the pitch, so he looks a good buy.
Louis Moult and Conor Simpson came in as well but Moult has only really had cameo appearances so far and Simpson was always deemed as one for the future.
Obviously losing Jordan Hugill on deadline day was a blow, but the £10m we received will help us going forwards.
Since Villa beat Preston 2-0 in November, the Lilywhites have only lost twice in the Championship. What’s changed?
Nothing really! I think Villa hit us last time at a peak in our injury crisis across the defence.
Since then the return to form has unsurprisingly coincided with the return of our defence, from the back four starting last time we played, only Fisher at right-back will be in the team this time around, with two of the defenders that played in November now on loan at lower league teams.
Do you think Preston can keep this run going and make the play-offs?
Yes, if we continue playing the way we have seen recently. The football on show at times has been exciting and very enjoyable as well.
If it wasn’t for a bit of theatricals on Saturday I’m confident we would have taken three points off Wolves and our form would of looked even better.
Who has been your standout performer this season and why?
There have been a lot of good performances this season, but I think Alan Browne has really upped his game.
A section of support voiced concern with him earlier in the season, but he always gives 100% and for the last few weeks has been the best player on show week in week out.
Aside from him I would have to say Ben Davies at centre-back, his transformation from a few seasons back when he was taken apart playing left-back against Sheff Utd in League One to what he is now, is incredible.
Also it’s great to have a home grown lad in the team!
If you could, which past Preston player would you bring into the starting XI?
Aside from the a-typical answer of Sir Tom Finney; I would say Ricardo Fuller.
I feel he would have loved the style of play we currently have and would have thrived in this set up.
If you were stranded on a desert island with one other Preston player, who would it be and why?
Paul Huntington. The guy bleeds Lillywhite blood now and is an absolute legend. He’d face off against a Lion and it would bow it down and bring it back as food. He’s that much of a leader!
Score prediction for Tuesday?
I fancy us to get something from Villa Park but don’t think we will beat you.
I’ll go for 2-2 with Barkhuizen and Bodin getting the Preston goals.