I find that with each match day, I am more and more excited than the ones before. That means it's becoming easier and easier to compile these for you, as I'd be reading anything I can get my hands on anyways. So here's your pre-weekend batch of Aston Villa links.
- Mat Kendrick has done his usual bang-up job of giving us all the information we need before the match, but nothing compares to his story about the first battle of Scottish gaffers in the Premier League this season. Kendrick, however, may not be forgiven for writing that it will be "all systems Glasgow." That's worse than my usual line of punnery.
- The Birmingham Mail also brings us a quick but interesting interview with Andy Cryer, who covers the Blackburn Rovers for the Lancashire Telegraph. Since SBN doesn't have a Blackburn blog, consider this your pre-match Q&A.
- We also learn of Fabian Delph's excitement over his inclusion in the first team today. I think it's something we can all share, and I'm shocked at how quickly he seems to have won fans over. Let's hope he continues to earn it. He certainly expresses the desire to improve that should make us all happy.
- Darren Bent seems like a happy striker despite the loss of service from Ashley Young and Stewart Downing. He's loading praise on Charles N'Zogbia and Marc Albrighton, saying in a SkySports story that he is "licking my lips at the prospect of getting on the end of some of their crosses."
- Finally, in a story that may be only interesting to me, the Birmingham Mail talks a bit about the condition of the Villa Park pitch after a summer in which it was torn up for a concert and replaced in shorter time than usual. I am irrationally fascinated with this, and with any news of the Aston Villa groundskeeper. Is anyone else a bit disappointed that McLeish hasn't brought in fellow Scot Groundskeeper Willie though? You'd think it'd be a shoe-in, given where McLeish spent his playing days.