Tomorrow Aston Villa travel north to play Manchester City, who are currently the favorites to win the Premier League title. If the lions can get any sort of result, they will significantly help the causes of both Chelsea and Liverpool. Liverpool could still technically win if Manchester City did, but Chelsea would be out.
This, of course, means that Aston Villa will have two huge, experienced fan bases cheering for them that wouldn't normally do so. And if we're being honest, I'd imagine the vast majority of the football world wants to see a Villa win. If that happens, the last day of the season is going to be insane. Who doesn't want chaos?
So to help all of our new fans, I've decided to put together a quick guide to being a Villa fan in handy Q&A format.
Who are you?
We're Aston Villa. If you're a Liverpool fan you'll likely remember our last two visits to Anfield: a 2-2 draw this season and a 3-1 win last. If you're a Chelsea fan, we're a part of the long list of teams (also including Norwich, Sunderland, and Crystal Palace) against whom you should have taken care of business in the last eight matches. Had you done so, you'd already have this thing wrapped up by now. (Seriously, win those matches that you should've won and you'd be on 90 points.)
But if that's not jarring your memories, we've been around since 1874, and were founding members of the Football League. You probably don't remember that, since it was before either of you were born. We're from Birmingham, which may not be as urbane as London but is certainly better than living along the Mersey.
What colors am I going to have to wear? Can I just reappropriate my current clothes?
We're Claret and Blue (though we may be wearing our blackcurrant and white quartered away kits tomorrow), and heavens no. First off, those Liverpool away kits are hideous. Please don't wear those. But your bright red is a bit much for us anyhow. And Chelsea, well, you share the colors of the bluenoses of Birmingham City. So that's out.
Go and buy a Villa kit. They're on sale now for a mere £10! That's a small price to pay for a shot at the title, right?
Who are your best players?
Well, most people would probably say Christian Benteke is our best player, but he's injured so he won't have much of an impact. I guess maybe Jores Okore is the most promising young talent, but he's injured so he won't have much of an impact. If you're looking for goals, you could do worse than Libor Kozak who scored 10 in last year's Europa League, but he's injured so he won't have much of an impact.
There's Charles N'Zogbia but he's inj...
Gabby Agbonlahor is pretty good, but he came off inj...
Well, we do have Fabian Delph! He's been quite spectacular this year. Perhaps Chelsea fans remember him for this:
Pretty great footwork for a goal he certainly didn't mean to do, right?
Delph has spent the year developing into a quite skilled box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much midfield support, so he can disappear from time to time.
Other than him, it's pretty much our keeper Brad Guzan or defender Ron Vlaar. There's not a lot of really superbly talented players on this squad. You do realize we were in the relegation fight until Sunday, right?
Once you beat Manchester City, can we buy your good players and rob you blind?
Hate you, big clubs. Hate you so much. But sure, we'll find the current-day equivalent of Stewart Downing and send him your way. Chelsea fans, ask your Liverpool friends how that worked out.
So how do you fancy your chances tomorrow?
Honestly? I haven't the foggiest. As you've surely noticed, Villa have been terrible this season. Or perhaps you haven't noticed, because the two times this year you'd pay attention to them each they've played quite well. And that's the enigmatic thing about the club: they can beat the worst in the league, and they can run with the best. Or they can just totally not show up on any given day.
You may remember that Villa beat City at Villa Park earlier this season in thrilling style. Down 1-2, they came back with goals in the 73rd and 75th minutes from Leandro Bacuna and Andi Weimann respectively. If that Villa team shows up, I think a draw is possible. And if the team that played a smart, concerted effort against Chelsea and counterattacked at just the right moment shows up, they could even win.
Aren't you a bit high on yourself given where your club is compared to ours?
Oh absolutely, but which one of us piddled away our chances of claiming a title to the point that we had to rely on Aston freaking Villa?
Welcome to the bandwagon, folks. You'll fit in quite nicely here.