For this special article, we teamed up with Mark Evans, one of the people behind the championship predictions at FootballPredictions.com. According to him, many predicted Aston Villa’s visit to the Championship would be a brief one, however, not many predicted that they would more likely be leaving the Championship for League One than for a return to the Premiership.
Granted that may be a little harsh as Tuesday night’s win over Bristol City made it back to back wins for Steve Bruce’s men and has lifted the threat of relegation somewhat after a dismal run of five straight defeats in the league.
However, you can see why there were anxious faces around Villa Park.
When making football match predictions with Aston Villa, losing to Barnsley and Brentford are not results that are made for the 1982 European Champions.
However, they happened and despite a bright start to Bruce’s rein, things went a little haywire for a few months with the club facing a relegation fight and the prospect of financial ruin by slipping to England’s third tier.
Villa now sit fifteenth in the league and nine points clear of the dreaded drop zone.
Looking ahead to their next three games, there is reason to be optimistic that Bruce and Co can banish relegation fears for good.
Up next is a trip to face rock bottom Rotherham United and surely anything less than three points will be deemed a failure.
Rotherham have lost eight of their last nine and are pretty much cannon fodder for the rest of the league. Three points assured there then.
Three days later they face a trip back to Yorkshire to take on high flying Huddersfield Town. David Wagner may have the Terriers firing this season but a FA Cup replay against Manchester City and a weekend tie against top of the table Newcastle could leave the Yorkshire outfit a little jaded.
A draw would be deemed a strong result and a likely outcome to leave Steve Bruce with four games in a row unbeaten.
Sheffield Wednesday at Villa Park follows and expect Wednesday’s temperament to get the better of them as Villa run out narrow winners.
Back to back losses for the Owls has left them under serious pressure to maintain their Play-Off hopes but expect Villa to severely dent them.
That makes it seven points out of Villa’s next three games which should see the Villains relatively safe.
Despite recording losses of £81m for their relegation season, there may finally be reason to get excited again.
About the Author
Mark Evans (big Reading fan) is a content specialist and expert predictor on the English Championship division over at FootballPredictions.com.