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Villa defense strengthened ahead of Newcastle match

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Stu Forster

Sometimes, we Aston Villa fans have to take the good where we can find it. Like the fact that clicking on the Villa section on ESPN FC usually doesn't prompt a ridiculous autoplay video. And that often, when the side crashes and burns, the match isn't in the national spotlight. Oh, and Villa are four points above West Brom in the standings, so there's that.

But this good news really is something to celebrate: Ron Vlaar is finally back to full fitness. Yes, Vlaar played the full ninety in that dreadful goalless draw with Cardiff City (we forgive you for not remembering) but apparently he wasn't at 100 percent. Thank goodness he didn't hurt himself or the Villa fanbase may have had a collective breakdown.

Vlaar isn't the most spectacular of defenders, but the captain has proved himself beyond necessary in the backline. His experience and authority can help lift the burden off younger centerbacks like Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark. Without the Dutchman, Villa have lost five out of six times, with the 1-1 draw with Swansea City the only point earned without Vlaar.

Just a bit scary, huh?