Date: 8th February 2018 at 10:52am
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How are the nerves? Jangling? Jittering? Mine are fine. Yes, I realise we`re playing Villa on Sunday – but it`s only Thursday. Come Saturday evening, I`ll be shaking like a sh*tting dog.

I`ll be there in the Doug Ellis lower hoping and praying Blues can come away with a slither of something? anything.

Going to Villa Park comes with mild annoyance. It could be the fact that their North Stand congregation sing songs about sitting in the Holte End. It could be the realisation that I`m in a stadium surrounded by 40,000 mongrels. But I think it`s just the aura of the place – the stench that you have to wash of your clothes when you return home. Or maybe it`s the possibility that Flabby Gabby – a man more suited to shelf stacking at Lidl – could have the last laugh once again.

He`s an awful footballer but just the presence of the man who makes Iain Dowie look like a model fills Blues fans with dread. Similar to how Villa fans feel after a glimpse of Peter Enckleman.

Twenty four hours after my article yesterday – do I now think Blues can win? Yes. But we’re just as capable of losing the game too. And isn`t it better to rock up at Vile Park in hope rather than expectation?

Blues haven`t experienced the sweetness of a league win over their bitter rivals for far too long. Oh how we could do with a hero of the Geoff Horsfield, Stern John or Nikola Zigic mould right now!

All we can do is drink a barrel full and hope!

ROB`S TEAM v VILLA: 4-3-2-1

Jenkinson, Dean, Roberts, Colin
Kieftenbeld, Gadner, Davis
Boga, Maghoma

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