Aston Villa have enjoyed a fine season in the Sky Bet Championship this season. They finished fourth in the playoffs race and were pitted against Middlesbrough in the semi-finals of the playoffs. The put out a strong defensive display and managed to scrap a 1-0 win on the night. In the second leg, they defended even better and saw out the game 0-0 to progress to the final of the playoffs.
They will now come off against a powerful and well-to-do Fulham side and the stakes will be super high as the winner will get the chance to be the third team from the Championship to play in the top division. Aston Villa will be hoping to put out another strong defensive display to see out Fulham and maybe grab a goal in the process to win the tie.
Their entire season has been extremely organized and strong. They have been well drilled defensively and the players will be keen to carry it to the next season. The defensive duo of James Chester and John Terry has been very hard to break down. The signing of John Terry turned out to be a masterstroke as the Stamford Bridge legend showed that he still has a lot more to offer.
He is 37 years old but still has the discipline and the physicality to outmuscle and outshine opponents. He, along with Chester, gave Villa a strong backline. Credit will also go to their goalkeeper Sam Johnstone who has been excellent in goal in helping the Villians keep the clean sheets and help them fight tooth and nail to win matches by narrow margins.
However, should Villa get promoted, they will no longer find it as easy to push themselves as it was in the Sky Bet Championship. They will face harder and more technically gifted opponents who will break down the Villa defence. In such a case, Villa will need to bolster their attacking line to ensure they can strike back just as hard if not more.
According to reports from France, Aston Villa have submitted a contract offer to Strasbourg striker Stephane Bahoken before his contract expired. Their main forward Lewis Grabban is only on loan at the club and should Grabban leave, Villa will be left really exposed.
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Bahoken has scored 9 goals this season and is a physically dominant forward. He will be a free agent this summer, making his move even easier. It now remains to be seen if Villa does address the issue going forward, literally!