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Friday, 22 April 2011

Aston Villa v Stoke City: Villa hope to see off FA Cup finalists for ill Houllier


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Gerard Houllier may have his critics at Villa Park but I'm sure everyone affiliated with the club will be hoping the Frenchman makes a full recovery from his recent health problems. The one thing that would really help the former Liverpool coach this weekend would be for his number two, Gary McAllister, to get all three points against FA Cup finalists Stoke City and all but secure top flight football next season for the Villains. However, that might be harder said than done.

Stoke City stunned the football world last weekend with a five-star display against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup semi-final. The Potters always stood a chance of reaching the final but the manner in which they went about it has made everyone stand up and take notice of the work Tony Pulis has done at the Britannia.

With the club's first ever FA Cup final less than a month away there may be a tendency for some of players to save themselves for Wembley. However, Tony Pulis will not accept that. Despite sitting in 13th place, the Potters are only five points off the drop zone and he needs to stay in the top flight if he wants to continue building his empire at the Britannia.

Villa gave their survival hopes a massive lift last weekend with a late winner at Upton Park, a result which puts West Ham in real danger of going down, and their home form has been their saving grace. Only Wolves and Sunderland have won at Villa Park in 2011 but Stoke will fancy their chances of joining that list. The Potters have lost only one of their past five meetings and Etherington, Pennant and co will be buzzing from last weekend's remarkable win. However, most of the pundits believe Stoke will be forced to take a reality check at Villa Park.

Aston Villa v Stoke City; Kick Off 3pm April 23 2011


Prediction Panel

Arsenal

Don McMahon

2

V

1

Aston Villa

Lynette Ranson

2

V

1

Birmingham

Steve Coulter

2

V

1

Blackburn

Terry Kennedy

2

V

1

Blackpool

Phil Trow

2

V

1

Bolton

Dave Blackburn

0

V

0

Chelsea

Joe Tyler

2

V

0

Everton

Chris Goodwin

1

V

1

Fulham

Russell Goldman

1

V

1

Liverpool

Mark Williams

2

V

0

Man City

Callum Rothwell

1

V

0

Man Utd

Peter Lee

1

V

0

Newcastle

Michael Stout

2

V

1

Stoke City

Philip Eccleston

1

V

2

Sunderland

Tony Ratton

2

V

0

Tottenham

Dave Nash

1

V

1

West Brom

Andy Wakeman

1

V

1

West Ham

Nigel Telfer

1

V

1

Wigan

Alan Moore    

1    

V    

2

Wolves

Chris Cox

1

V

1

 

 

 

 

 

OUR EXPERTS

 

 

 

 

Editor

Antony Melvin

2

V

1

Writer

Colin Illingworth    

1

V

3

Writer

Hugh Larkin

1

V

1

Writer

Paul Grech

0

V

0

Pompey fan

Dan Taylor

2

V

1

Boro fan

Sue Gardener

1

V

0

Pompey fan

Peter Rendle

1

V

1

West Ham fan

Matthew Beeby

1

V

1

Panel Verdict

Honours could be even come the final whistle.

Home: 14; Draw: 11; Away: 3.

* Do we have it right, or do you know better? Please don't bother with derisory comments on the predictions after the match - unless you also pulled us up before it!

 

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