It may not have been the most exciting affair, but we fought out a hard earned 0-0 draw at Anfield to earn a replay last weekend, which could be the last ever FA cup game at the Boleyn, but we are all hoping that is not the case.
We went into the game with a lot of optimism having beaten them twice before, and once again we proved we are good enough to come away from Anfield having not conceded again.
Tomkins and Kouyate both picked up injuries, with Kouyate looking the more serious of the two. We are yet to hear the extent of his injury, but Tomkins should be back to face Aston Villa, as to will Mark Noble, and we will also have Sam Byram available after he was cup tied.
On Sunday it was announced that Emenike has signed on a loan deal, lasting until the end of the season, but he won’t be able to feature against Villa because he’s still awaiting international clearance.
Aston Villa are a team lacking fighting spirit and a lot of people are writing them off as the first certified relegated side of the season. I do feel sorry for their fans as they have had to put up with a lot this year, but we must not take this as an easy three points..
Yes it is a game we should be looking to win comfortably if we are going to push for fifth or even fourth, but that is no reason to lack discipline and not give 100% against them because we will come unstuck.
Lanzini, Sakho and Carroll are all close to returns according to David Gold, so how much truth there actually is in this I do not know, but once they return we will be a much stronger side.
Dimitri Payet did not have the best of games against Liverpool and I have seen people say that his good spell is over. These people need to have a hard look at themselves as he proves people wrong time and time again, and one bad game does not define a player.
As for how I think we will line up, this is the starting XI I would go with…
I do not think that Kouyate will be fit to play and Noble should be the one to come in for him, and it showed against Liverpool that without Noble, there is a lack of organisation across the pitch.
Byram should come in for Tomkins and Moses should replace Obiang, purely because we can be more expressive against Villa.
We are going to have to keep an eye on Jordan Ayew, as he is a very good player and was arguably their best player against us earlier in the season.
I never end without a prediction, and I must say I am confident about this one, so I am going to go with a 3-1 win to us.
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