“It’s a big chance to bounce back”. That is the view of Villa manager Steve Bruce ahead of our meeting with relegation threatened Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
We made a disappointing start to the month of December by losing 2-0 at Elland Road last weekend, which saw us drop from 11th to 15th in the Championship table. However, we are still just six points off the promotion places after collecting seven points from a possible nine in November.
Bruce has been nominated for last month’s manager of the month award alongside Blackburn Rovers’ Owen Coyle, Reading’s Jaap Stam and Derby County’s rejuvenated Steve McClaren.
The game at Leeds saw us concede twice in a match for the first time under Bruce, but we should be able to steady the ship against the lowest scorers in the division. Wigan have only managed 16 goals in 19 matches to date, which includes six ‘blanks’ in their last nine.
The Latics are currently 23rd in the table and two points off safety, despite only winning one game fewer than Villa. Will Grigg is not ‘on fire’ like he was last season, but he is still the club’s top scorer with five league goals, which represents a 31% share of their 16-goal total.
We might be only six points off the promotion places, but the importance of this match is emphasised by the fact that we are also just five points above the relegation zone.
The result at Leeds needs to be written off as a minor blip in a journey to redemption under Bruce. Jonathan Kodjia has five goals in his last four appearances at Villa Park, and his form alone should be enough to secure an important three points on Saturday.
EnergyBet Match Odds:
Villa 1.81 | Draw 3.35 | Wigan 4.60