Date: 22nd April 2017 at 1:14pm
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Ding dong, it’s derby day! And it’s a massive one for Blues with more than just local bragging rights at stake.

Blues go into the game at Villa Park on the back of 22 winless games from their last 24 – a shambolic record that has seen them drop from the fringes of the play off places to the cusp of relegation. But Blues also go into the game with a new manager in tow and renewed optimism.

Harry Redknapp has been saying all the right things. He even refused to blame his predecessor, Gianfranco Zola, for the horrific run. Instead, he put the burden on to the players. Clever. The sort of man management skills that we haven’t seen for a while…

He’s also insisted that his pre-match preparation has been tailored around getting the basics right – particularly set pieces at both ends with have been a big problem this season.

Redknapp said- ‘I have given them some guidelines of areas to play and when to play. They have responded to it, I think they have enjoyed that – having it put in black and white a little bit for them. We have worked on corners, set-plays with them. We are as ready as we can be. If we are good enough we will find out’.

Potato Head will have Villa up for this one, make no mistake. And coming away with anything will require an awful lot of graft and belief. With Blues seemingly needing around three points to survive, a point would be a great result in this derby going into the last two fixtures.

With Jonathan Kodja suspended, Villa will have to make do without their main source of goals. Yet they have an expensively assembled team so Redknapp won’t be taking them lightly, even without their top scorer.

The game could go either way and I still make Villa slight favourites. But if Zola was at the helm, a Villa won would be a shoo-in. At least we have some hope.

As always, Keep Right On.

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