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Q&A With 7500 To Holte

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The other side

Scott Heavey

Not only do SlakyFoot and I both blog about Premier League teams for SB Nation, we are also comrades in the Chicago Blackhawks blogosphere. So if this seems like two guys who spend a lot of time yelling at each other on Twitter, it's because we do. Also, this is something I promised I'd do more of and just haven't, and I promise that will change. Anyway, here's Slaky filling us in on what's going down at Villa Park.

  • So, hovering above the relegation zone. That must be fun.

  • It's not fun but it is temporary unless you're asking Robbie Savage in which case you're a shit for brains. It's hard to grasp for a lot of fans, even Villa fans, that Paul Lambert has a very difficult task on his hands. He's had to undo the negative atmosphere around the club that came with Alex McLeish as well as restock a squad that just doesn't have enough senior players on it. He's getting the players to believe in themselves and work hard and the quality is starting to show. If McLeish couldn't get them sent down, no one can.

  • So your lot couldn't score backstage at a zeppelin show with a bag full of coke.

  • Not in the league, no. That's a real problem. If they can figure out how to score the way they have in the Capital One Cup (13 goals in 4 matches) that'd be swell. And before you say well who did they play? Yes, they played Swindon Town and Tranmere but 8 of those 13 goals were against Manchester City and Norwich away, both top flight clubs. So the talent is there. It's consistency they need to find. I believe they will find it.

  • So this Benteke looks a pretty tasty character...

  • He is. When Villa bought him the experts said he was too raw for England. They have been proven wrong. He's been arguably the best Villa player and the 8 million or so pounds he was bought for seem like a pittance. He's getting all the attention and rightfully so. The guy who seems to deserve a lot more attention is Ashley Westwood. Lambert brought him in from Crewe Alexandra and he's so good at making the right pass and taking care of the ball in midfield. Make sure to watch him - he's young and could end up being pretty special.

  • Last one: You're not really going to flirt with relegation, right? Prediction for Saturday?

  • I think looking at the teams it's really difficult to think that QPR and Reading are going to stay up. That leaves one more spot. Will Sunderland snap out of it? Probably to a degree. Southampton doesn't scream 'safety' to me, either. We can assume Wigan has a good run of form coming in March. I wouldn't be surprised if the three teams on the bottom end up there but who knows. Lambert will be able to add players in January and a winger would do us a world of good. I think we'll be fine.

  • As for a prediction, a draw seems likely for me. Villa haven't been conceding and if they roll out their brand new Rolls Royce that is the 3-5-2 and get some health back with Bennett and Vlaar it could take Liverpool a bit by surprise. It's a lot of fun to watch and Lambert's formation flexibility is a wonderful attribute he can use to keep teams off guard. Charles N'Zogbia was great in his return vs. Norwich so look to see if he gets to start. I'll go ahead and say 1-1.