Last week, Aston Villa and Birmingham City both came together to champion poor football in a game which saw almost no highlights except a scrappy goal from a returning Gabby Agbonlahor.
Aston Villa don’t have much left to do this season except play games, win and evaluate the squad for next season. With Sunderland and Middlesbrough likely coming down and the possibility of Huddersfield, Fulham, Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday or Reading aiming for the top spot next year or promotion next year, next season will be tough for Villa.
For Villa’s opponents, everything is on the line and boy, are Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers fighting like hell to avoid relegation. The Rovers have scraped a number of points together to move the threat of relegation to a ‘likely possibility’ rather than a ‘foregone conclusion’. Mowbray’s side will need a win today to stay up - but what’s more, they will need the atrocious form of Birmingham City to continue under Harry Redknapp. The Blues have been nosediving all season and only Rotherham have endured a worse spell of form. That’s bad news for Villa’s rivals. Relegation is a real threat if they lose today and Blackburn get a result against Villa.
A result that is possible. Blackburn need to win, and Villa have not done a whole lot this year to prove that they could beat Blackburn. After a great run of form in the early spring, Villa have hit the rocks a little bit, with losses to Reading and Fulham sandwiching a draw to Burton.
Thankfully, Aston Villa’s talisman this year has been Jonathan Kodjia - who returns following suspension. Without his goals, the resoluteness of Mile Jedinak and the brick wall made by Nathan Baker and James Chester, Villa would have been in dire straits.
If Aston Villa lose and Birmingham City lose, the Blues drop into the relegation zone for the last day of the season and Blackburn may have saved themselves for another year.
Location: Ewood Park, Blackburn, England
Kick-off time: 3 PM BST, 12 AM Eastern, 9 AM Pacific
Available TV: None
Available streaming: None
Available radio: BBC WM 95.6 FM (not online), AVTV (If audio doesn’t work, try using Safari)
Other listings are available from livesoccertv.com.
Aston Villa squad
Team news: Here’s your #AVFC starting XI for #BLBAVL…— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) April 29, 2017
Subs: Bunn, Bree, Amavi, Elphick, Adomah, Grealish, Agbonlahor. pic.twitter.com/jv0rivZurP
Blackburn Rovers squad
One change for Rovers as Danny Graham returns to the starting line-up. Craig Conway the man to make way. pic.twitter.com/2VYZ7bleD4— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) April 29, 2017