It’ll never catch on

Set your alarm clock and clear your diary to welcome Leicester.

It’s a Saturday, it’s three o’clock and the Villa are at home. Yes, you read that right. We’re kicking off at the proper, God-given time for a game of association football to be played. It won’t last.

We’re playing Leicester, whose manager called it a local derby the other day. It isn’t, it wasn’t and it never has been. Over the years Leicester have tried very hard to get some extremely one-way rivalry with us and there was a time when as the highest-placed Midlands club they won the prize of hating the Villa for a season but that’s about it. No matter what they do and how they do it they’ll always be Leicester, a strange set of people from an extremely strange place.

This season they’re below us, which means the natural order is being restored. It’s definitely not right to have teams like Leicester winning things and being allowed out of their country but fortunately those days seem to have passed now. They’ve got Ryan Bertrand, who was here for a few weeks a long, long time ago and have let Marc Albrighton go out on loan somewhere even worse than Leicester. Jamie Vardy’s injured again, so he’ll probably be miraculously cured and on the bench again.

It’s the first game after the transfer window shut, which should mean that we’ve got lots of new players to welcome, but this is the Villa. Bertrand Traore’s back and injured, Jhon Duran’s here and might or might not be a sub, although if he doesn’t you have to wonder where we’ll find anyone else.

We’ve not exactly got a brilliant record against them and even when they were a lot worse than they are now we used to struggle so this might be a difficult one. Then again, we’re the Villa. Three points, three o’clock. Normal service resumed.