Aston Villa v Hull: Live text, banter, team news and links

Have I told you before I like Monday night football? It's like they've saved the best to last and tonight is going to be a tense and interesting affair. We need the three points to regain fifth spot and other results over the weekend worked out well for Hull, so they're going to be wanting to get something out of this match too, if they can.

Hull could have gone into the game tonight in the bottom three had Newcastle won at Anfield and although it was a tall order it was possible, remember we lost to Newcastle when they were bottom of the table. But, it wasn't to be and Hull are three points clear of the relegation zone today.

Still, that will be incentive enough for Hull. While another three points for them tonight won't guarantee survival in the Premier League it is one step closer as not even Alan Shearer seems to be able to lift Newcastle and Gareth Southgate was doomed to failure.

But the focus has to be on tonight and for us to win I fancy we're going to need to see why Ashley Young was voted the young player of the year and why Gabby came in second. They owe us a performance and this very dodgy excuse about tiredness doesn't stick.

Despite the long season, the likes of Ashley Young and Gabby haven't really played that many games when you compare it to players at other clubs. Gabby and Young have both played 44 matches this season but when you look at a few other players at other clubs, that doesn't seem like that much; Ronaldo has played 48 matches, Rooney 44, Kuyt 48, Alonso 45, Fat Frank 53 and Obi Wan Mikel 45. These are all players that would walk into our first team.

With our new state of the art training complex and up to date training, recuperation and dietary practices, surely having to play forty, fifty or 60 games in a season, isn't too much to ask of these youngsters, especially when most had very little to do last summer, which can't exactly be said for some that played and had less of a break and still seem to be putting in very good performances week in week out.

What I'm getting at is they've been looked after and they owe us and tonight would be a good time to start paying a tiny bit of that back. Fifth will be seen as progression this season, staying at sixth might be seen as an improvement in the grand scheme of things, but three points tonight and a strong finish to the season would be welcomed by all.

The thing is, while I accept every game in the Premier League is "tough", it is only Hull. Surely our quality should be enough? If it was Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea or even Everton playing you'd have money on them winning - we can pretty much play our best team tonight; surely we should be winning this too?

Team News

Like I've said, we should be able to pick a very strong team tonight despite missing Bouma and Laursen, but we do have enough quality, with the possible exception of a replacement for Laursen, to not be worried.

Expected line-up (4-4-2): Friedel, Young, Shorey, Cueller, Davies, Barry, Petrov, Young, Milner, Heskey and Carew.

Preferred line-up (4-2-3-1): Friedel, Young, Shorey, Cueller, Davies, Petrov, Sidwell/Gardner/Reo-Coker, Milner, Young, Barry and Gabby.

Hull Banter

This is a new thing for this post and it comes from Jim Milner. It's not really specific to Hull, just the remaining four fixtures but I could go back and find pretty much the exact same quote from the remaining five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven and twelve fixtures and you'll probably not see this part again.

James Milner
We're still fifth in the table despite a terrible run and that shows how good a season we've had. If it happens the other way and you start out poorly, don't win the first 12 games and you finish fifth everyone is buzzing, you're on a high and it's been an unbelievable season.

Because it's the other way round it is seen as a negative. If we make sure we finish this run of games with four wins, which we are capable of doing, hopefully people will go home at the end of the season thinking it's been a good season and be confident going into next season.

It is sense, nobody is saying otherwise, but it's a little too much now and the just because a player says something doesn't mean the club site have to publish it and surely if they are going to publish it today, they could at the very least fix what Milner said and correct the obvious mistake, as he probably told them this last Tuesday.

Live Updates

This match is televised but if you can't get in front of a TV for it, they'll be updates here with a few links to other places where you can get updates and live information. The best stream to watch this match is here, you do have to pay, but it really is the best and you tend to have to pay for good things. You'll also get updates during the match on this Twitter page.

So, that is about it for now. No rumours worth posting about, so I'll leave you with your predictions.

Official Team News

Friedel, Luke Young, Davies, Knight, Shorey, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Carew, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Gardner, Clark.

We are not revisiting Brookside, we are playing 4-4-2. I hope the luck is with us tonight.