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Aston Villa at the gates, time to demand, updates and team news

What did I call it; the first real test for the manager. So, if it is and we get spanked, it shouldn't really matter, should it. Well, actually it should. Too many have fallen into the trap of accepting mediocrity and as supporters, we have to demand more, especially when we play a team that are competing.

If we don't demand, how do the club, manager or players know that we're not happy? Five years ago, we had a so-called plan to be playing Champions League football - most thought this was true, but it was only the owner giving himself enough time to dumb everyone down.

Today, he tells us he is more interested in money than league position and we sit back and say nothing. Has he dumbed us down to the point that he can literally do anything? More interested in money than the league and most happily accept it. Dull football and we accept it. Selling our players and we accept it.

Unless we win today, we should be unhappy and we should demand more. Do you think Sir Alex Ferguson only demanded more when he had won his first silverware or do you think he demanded it from day one. The Manchester United fans did, the Liverpool fans do and so do the Spurs fans, even now. Behaviour breeds behaviour. It is a reason why Manchester City will never be a great club - they don't demand it, it isn't part of their club.

Somebody is going to tell me I'm wrong or that the real world is that it isn't going to happen. They are the ones that are dumbed down. They are the ones that believed in the five year plan and probably still believe that Lerner is here to make Aston Villa great again - even after he wrote and told everyone that he was here for the cash.

The same ones will say that players control the game - but Spurs didn't sell Modric and we didn't have to sell Downing, a week after the manager said he wasn't going to sell him. We have to demand more, otherwise we will just be fed the PR and we will never move forward.

I know. It isn't going to happen. It never really happened with the protests and Ellis was out looking for a buyer a long time before they started. Unless there is an uprising, a call to arms, we can rant and rave all we want, it is never going to change, even if the game gets fixed.

Rant over, to the match

Manchester City are going to do well this season. They might win some silverware, but they won't win the League and while they are close, they don't have that extra thing that Manchester United do - a real hunger throughout the club, for success. They have a temporary hunger and we all know it won't last, because it takes more than just throwing money at it.

But I fancy they can finish second, maybe third and to do that it means they are going to win a lot of games and drop points in some, which is why I think we can take something from today. We could get spanked for sure, but we could take a point. I can't see us winning - our manager doesn't play the teams in the top half the table to win, so that happening is about as likely as me getting three numbers.


But a hard fought draw is possible and you'll get a good price on it. The odds are below.

Updates, team news and watching the match

So, on that, I'm going to take a break. I'm going to put a fiver on Manchester United and Liverpool to draw and when the team news is out, we will update here and on Twitter. I will try to update this page with anything as we get it, but don't expect Heskey to play at centre back today.

Before I go, you know you will be able to watch the game here don't you.

Team news

Given, Hutton, Dunne, Clark, Warnock, Delph, Petrov, Ireland, Heskey, Gabby and Bent start with King Carlos, Herd, Albrighton, Guzan, N’Zogbia, Bannan and Weimann on the bench.