Fifteen points to go

Villa are at home to Bournemouth on Sunday. You knew that already.

After the extertions and dramas of Thursday night it’s a return to Villa Park for the conquering heroes. To mark the occasion we’re expecting a visit from Plucky Little Bournemouth. After spending most of their history in the lower divisions they’ve now sort-of estblished themselves as a lower-midtable Premier League side and as always we’d be saying well done to them if it were not for the inviolate rule of H&V that every other team, no matter how good they are, shall never be regarded with anything but scorn and derision*. They’re not Aston Villa, therefore they’re inferior.

They’ve got American owners and a Basque manger. So far, so unbeatable but there the similarity ends. Their American owners aren’t the best there are and neither is their Basque manager. They’re not likely to be looking at sixty-thousand capacity grounds either. Sixteen thousand would be an improvement, and probably too big for them.

Patrick Kluivert’s lad plays for Bournemouth just to make you feel old and what seems another eternity ago we took Tyrone Mings away from them. Their supporters will almost certainly come to Villa Park with some strange idea about being our equals and that one should be put right immediately. Douglas Luiz is suspended, Alex Moreno is the latest visitor to A&E and the referee will be looking to book The Keeper from the first minute. You can be sure of that

Right, down to business. It’s a cliche but there really are five cup finals to play now. The players are knackered, the squad’s down to the bones. Even so, all the games we’ve got left are winnable and none more so than this one. A big performance from everyone, three points and a boost to the goal difference are all needed, and they’re all gettable.

*Except Cruyff’s Ajax and Milan in the nineties.