Quick preview: Aston Villa at Fulham and a Randy Lerner video

Fulham are ten points and three places behind us but we don't like going to London and we haven't beaten Fulham at Craven Cottage since 2004 (before that it was 1970), so this won't be straightforward.

Also, Roy Hodgson is a tactician; he will have his team set up to deal with our 'placed long balls'.


However, I know that we will score. I know this because we have never gone five Premier League games without scoring. Never ever. Martin O'Neill is not going to be the manager that sets that record. Never ever.

It isn't going to be a pretty game though. Fulham like to pass, they will come at us and we are limited when it comes to passing through the midfield, so we are going to use the pace of Gabby and probably Webcam with support from Downing and Heskey to place a few well aimed balls in their general direction.

Prediction

I'm getting the prediction in early today because this game has draw written all over it for me. Fulham haven't won in the league since December 19th when they beat Manchester United 3-0. Don't smirk, we also haven't won in the league since that very same day when we beat Stoke 1-0.

Fulham however have scored in the league since then but for me, this has score draw written all over it so it is getting added to my coupon.

Other Friday Stuff

I'm not looking at early team news or anything like that today, just making my prediction, instead, seeing as we don't have a rumour or really any hope of a new player or two, I'm going to point you to a video about {rokbox title=|Randy Lerner song :: They love Randy Lerner| text=|Randy Lerner that someone emailed me last night|size=|640 505| album=|demo|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RT3GN1dgAY&autoplay=1{/rokbox}. I'm sure you know where the idea came from and the impression I am getting is they are not too happy with him at the moment.

It is a strange one, but I'm pointing you to it, as it did make me chuckle to see the complete opposite feeling for him at the club he has grown up with, but we do have a couple of links to a some other news today, so I'm going to list them.

On this long ball subject and I do want to put this to bed, nine of the sixteen teams that played league football this week played more long ball football than we did. Six played less long ball football.

This is a fact - not something I am just making up, so while it is fair to say we are not playing like Blackburn, we are also quite a long way off Arsenal because had Manchester United and Manchester City played league football, that would be another two teams that played less long balls than us this week.

However, these stats are just for this week, so I've asked OptaJoe if he can help us with the stats for the season to date - if he gets back to me, I'll update this page.

Response from OptaJoeI asked for the season statistics in terms of long ball football and the response from OptaJoe is that Aston Villa would be ranked 12th in terms of % of passes that were long, Arsenal 20th, Chelsea 19th, Manchester United 18th, Fulham 17th and Liverpool 16th.

But what exactly is wrong with long ball football, if we are using it as a stepping stone towards a more controlled passing game where we make space and keep the ball closer to each player? If it is a stepping stone, there is nothing wrong with and it has gotten us sixth the last two seasons so we shouldn't knock it.

Right, that is it and apologies for the rush, but the wife has me clearing out the garage and I've also got work to get on with, but try and think how you are going to be feeling exactly one month from today and walk tall.