We have to invite three points at Leeds today, it doesn't just happen

A lot has been written and said this week about our performances and certain players and as a fan of everyone having an opinion, I think it's also my job today to remind everyone of where we were last season.

It's not my job to remind you that things don't happen instantly, but I will. The real world isn't a computer game and just because we buy a player it doesn't mean we become instantly better. Things take time to gel together and players need time to develop.

In fairness, if you send the team out to not lose, it doesn't help and I stand by my view that the manager has to take responsibility for that. And today is a chance to show us that he can send the team out to win a match.

There is no doubt that Leeds are a decent side and in Patrick Bamford they have a player that is always going to be a threat, but player for player I'd have all of ours over any from Leeds. But I'd take their approach to a match every day of the week.

And that is why we have to go out to win today and believe that we can. We fight Leeds man for man from kick off and we have a good chance. We sit back early on or in the second half if we finish the first in the lead and we're inviting defeat. You can't invite defeat in this League and expect to get much else and we all know this.

Most Aston Villa fans just want to see that and know when we do, things usually go the right way for us. Cagey football isn't for us.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Leeds won the reverse fixture 3-0 and can do the league double over Aston Villa for the first time since 1975-76.
  • Villa have only won two of their past 17 away league games against Leeds, with those victories coming in January and December 2000.

Leeds United

  • Leeds can win three Premier League home games in a row for the first time since a run of five from April to August 2001. They have kept successive clean sheets at Elland Road.
  • The Whites are winless in all four home league matches this season against teams currently in the top half of the table (D1, L3). Villa are eighth.
  • There has not been a draw in any of their past 16 league fixtures: Leeds have won eight and lost eight.
  • Leeds have scored 43 league goals, their highest tally after 25 matches of a top-flight season since they won the title in 1991-92.
  • Illan Meslier can set an outright Premier League record of nine clean sheets by a goalkeeper before their 21st birthday; his is on 2 March.
  • Patrick Bamford has scored 13 Premier League goals this season, the joint-most by an English player alongside Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
  • Bamford has scored in all five of Leeds' home league wins this season. They have only taken two points from the seven games at Elland Road in which he hasn't scored.

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa have won just one of their past six away league matches, in contrast to five victories in their opening six trips this season.
  • It's five defeats in nine Premier League games for Dean Smith's side in 2021 (W3, D1).
  • All but one of their 11 league victories this season has been earned with a clean sheet, but Villa have lost nine of the 11 matches in which they've conceded.
  • Villa have kept a league-high seven away clean sheets, one shy of equalling their club top-flight record.
  • They are attempting to win away against all three promoted teams in a top-flight season for the first time since 1980-81.
  • Since Villa returned to the top flight in 2019, they have lost 2-1 in all three Premier League fixtures without Jack Grealish.
  • Ollie Watkins has faced Leeds seven times without scoring - it's his longest wait for a goal against any league side.