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Preview: Can Villa avoid Newcastle’s fate against Huddersfield?

Aston Villa go for two wins in four days tomorrow when they host quick-starting Huddersfield Town.

Huddersfield Town v Liverpool - Pre-Season Friendly
Aaron Mooy (L) of Huddersfield Town challenged by Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Huddersfield Town and Liverpool at the Galpharm Stadium on July 20, 2016 in Huddersfield, England.
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

The Dalian Atkinson news just sucks. I’ll let our writers that watched him play be the preeminent force

But Villa still have to go out and play tomorrow, and there’s tons of optimism surrounding Saturday’s performance. Huddersfield are flying high too, though — they’re off to a perfect start with six points out of six available to open the season — so we’ll see how this one goes.

What to know about Villa

We got good signs from Saturday’s win, there’s no doubting that. Look, there aren’t many in the division that can even rival the attacking talent of Jordan Ayew, Rudy Gestede and Ross McCormack, and we saw why that can be so effective in Villa’s second goal against Rotherham United. Ayew did enough to beat a couple guys in midfield and open up the chance, while McCormack’s assist was a fantastic way to put Gestede through. Add Jack Grealish to that mix, and Villa really shouldn’t have to worry too much about creating chances this season against sides that don’t bunker to try and win a point.

We’ll see how the midfield and defence look against a side capable of challenging them, though. Villa outclassed their opponents Saturday, which was nice, but being better than a bunch of guys you’re, well, better than shouldn’t be some grand accomplishment.

A win tomorrow means Villa, despite how things looked a few days ago, will have made a roundly successful start to the season. Two points per match gets you promoted, and with three against Huddersfield, that’d make six points through three…

Everything said, I wouldn’t expect Roberto Di Matteo to make any changes from Saturday’s squad, provided there aren’t any late fitness issues. So yes, that means more Aly Cissokho at left back and Leandro Bacuna at right back. But it’s nice to feel good about “no changes” if that is what we see.

What to know about Huddersfield Town

Through two weekends, they’re one of the surprise packages in the division. But should it come as that much of a shock? I’m a huge fan of their attacking options: To partner the already-awesome Nakhi Wells, Huddersfield brought in Elias Kachunga on loan from Ingolstadt, and they have Aaron Mooy, in from Manchester City for the year, to add goals from midfield. Midfielder Joe Lolley is a Villa fan — and ardent Football Manager player, apparently — so give him a wave if you see him at VP tomorrow.

I don’t expect Huddersfield to be competing for promotion places when it’s all said and done, but a nice 12th-place finish could be on the cards for them.

Everything said though, this match should tell us a little more about the future of Villa’s season than Saturday’s did. Sides like Huddersfield — fine outfits that play well, but aren’t as talented as Villa — make up the plurality of opponents in the division. Can the Claret and Blues see out a tense result at home, if that’s how the match turns out, or can they control a match against a side a little better than Rotherham?

Either result would be quite nice tomorrow, and would tell us good things about this Villa team.

The odds

For the second Championship match running, Villa are favourites, though a tiny bit less so Tuesday than they were Saturday.

Aston Villa: Odds from 19/20 to 10/9.
The draw: You can get it anywhere from 23/10 to 45/17.
Huddersfield Town: As short as 5/2, as long as 41/13.

The prediction

I’ll give Villa a tight 2-1 win here because I want to be disappointed in life. Despite the good football Huddersfield are playing, Villa are the more talented side. Let’s get Ross McCormack off the blocks in a win.