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Dave Woodhall's Villa Blog



Sunday bloody Sunday football comes to Villa Park with visit of Reading. Dave Woodhall assesses the prospects.

Reading on Sunday, kick-off 12.30. I don’t think we’ve had one of those before. We’re doing well, they’re playing badly – so there’s bound to be an upset on the cards.

Reading are one of those infuriating clubs who come up through the divisions thanks to either a benefactor or a genius manager, stay in the Premier League for a couple of seasons then get relegated back where they came from.

They play in an identikit out of town ground (named after their modest and retiring owner, John Madejski) have supporters who think it’s fun to wear jester hats and face paint, and their one redeeming feature is that they annoy Sky marketing men who find it difficult to hype up Wigan v Reading on a Monday night at a half-empty ground.

Villa, on the other hand, are back on form thanks to the win against Newcastle. We’ve had problems in the past against teams who are battling relegation (It’s amazing how the prospect of losing those big Premier League wages can motivate players who were unable to string two passes together at the start of the season) but if there’s one thing Martin O’Neill can do it’s make sure players are focussed for matches against seemingly lesser opposition.

Away from the match Luke Moore moved on loan to Albion this week. If he’s a success there the deal will apparently be worth £3.5 million, which is decent money for a player who doesn’t seem to have much of a future at Villa, what with Gabby in such good form and Luke not the most hard-working of players.

Luke was the last of Villa’s FA Youth Cup finalist squads of a few years ago to leave, and although it’s disappointing that none of them became first-team regulars, they brought in a tidy sum in transfers. That sort of money comes in handy to finance the Academy and keep the production line rolling.

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