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Rupert Wyman 25th Sep 2010 - 20:38

Look Hou is back!


Aston Villa are in a period of transition, they have a new manager in Houllier but a fan base that still expect the squad to be chasing a spot in the Champions League.

Houllier is known to a few players at Aston Villa but he may have to get them onside. He has already denied he has a rift with the ex-Liverpool pair Friedel and Warnock.

The two players did not receive many opportunities at Liverpool under Houllier while he also got rid of Carew whilst at Lyon. If he can get these three players playing well for the team this season, they could go on and at least win a cup or achieve a spot in next year's Europa League.

His Villa team play a Wolves side that are out of form, they have drawn two and lost two of their last four league games. They were also taken to extra time by Notts County in the Carling Cup midweek.

Aston Villa are 8/5 to win the match, the draw is 21/10 and a Wolves win is 9/5.

It will be a fiercely contested derby and both sets of fans will want the bragging rights. Aston Villa should have too much quality for Wolves if they play to their potential.

Houllier will need to make the most out of the raw pace that both Agbonlahor and Ashley Young possess. Villa could be extremely dangerous on the counter attack and the Wolves defence could struggle with the physical presence of Heskey.

I fancy only Aston Villa to score at 3/1,  Houllier's critics say that the Frenchman is too defensive but the likes of Gerrard and Carragher thought that he was very tactically astute. He is not tied to systems such as 4-4-2, which was often O'Neill's downfall but the defence always knows their role.

Houllier always has a Plan B, Kevin MacDonald's problem was that he allowed his players to play attacking football but they neglected their defensive duties. Under his leadership, they conceded thirteen goals in seven games.

Houllier will be desperate to get the Villa faithful onside and if they score the first goal, he will probably park the bus in defence and play counter attacking football.

I think the game will be a low scoring affair and the 1-0 Aston Villa (7/1) and 2-0 Villa (12/1) are appealing.  I would back second half total goals none at 13/5. It will be a scrappy affair with little space for good football.

Stephen Ireland will be desperate to impress the new gaffer and he is 10/1 to score first. When he was playing his best football at City he was world class and linked with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal.

He needs to replicate that form and help push Villa up the table. Expectations are high at Villa Park and Lerner has invested heavily in the past. With Houllier unable to buy any players until January, they all have a chance to impress but come January if they look out of form, their time could be up!




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