Aston Villa is back in the race for promotion from the English Sky Bet Championship
After a poor start to the Sky Bet Championship 2017/2018 Football Season, Aston Villa continued to regain the ground they had lost earlier on during this campaign by hammering Burton Albion 4-0 away from home at the Pirelli Stadium. This has brought the side up to 8th position in the table, after a run of form sees them unbeaten in September, with one game left to go before the end of this month.
With this being Aston Villa's second season in the Championship (they were relegated from the Premier League in the 2015/2016 season), fans were expecting them to really make a serious go of trying to get back into the Premier League this year. These expectations showed when gambling sites and shops around the world had Aston Villa as the odds-on favourites to win the Sky Bet Championship in the 2017/2018.
However, their first 7 league games saw them only win once, with that being at home to Norwich City (who have had a really poor away record themselves). Relegation from the Championship was seeming more likely than promotion, which was reflected in the speculation that Villa manager Steve Bruce could be losing his job, with the club's owner Tony Xia seemingly unhappy with the team's poor run of form.
In those first seven games, Villa had been without many of their key players. Jonothan Kodja, Villa's top goalscorer last year (with 19 goals), had injured his ankle at the end of last season, and was still out when the season started, whereas vital central defensive midfielder Mile Jedinak was also out (and still is).
Thankfully for Bruce, this bad form ended soon.
After two goalless draws in a row at the start of this month, Villa managed to get a very important 3-0 victory away from home against Barnsley on September 16th (Kodja's first start of the season), following a brace from Albert Adomah, which potentially saved Steve Bruce from being fired. Villa followed that up with a hard-fought, sluggish win against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with Conor Hourihane grabbing the victory with a fantastic free-kick.
Last night though, Villa got even more impressive, with a fantastic 4-0 drubbing of Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium. Youngster Keinan Davies, who is a forward, scored his second goal for Villa. Albert Adomah scored his FOURTH goal in just THREE games, whilst loanees Robert Snodgrass (on loan from West Ham) and Josh Onomah (on loan from Tottenham) scored their first goals for the club.
This was the first time that Aston Villa have won two consecutive away league games in three years. That statement alone tells you how big last night was for the club. Villa now sit at the 8th position in the Championship table, just two points off the play-off spots. The Villains have obviously found their winning formula because the last three games have seen the same starting 11 picked by Steve Bruce.
With the club in such a good run of form, AVFC need to keep the momentum going. With their upcoming game on Saturday at Villa Park against Bolton Wanderers being their last match of the month and the last match before the international football break, it would be great for Villa if they could put another 3 points on the board.
So far, September has been a great month for Villa, with them gaining 11 points out of a possible 14, They have also kept 4 clean sheets thanks to Sam Johnstone, the goalkeeper, putting on fine displays every match, and captain John Terry has been commanding his fellow defenders fantastically.
It's safe to say that Aston Villa are now right back in the race for promotion to the Premier League after their torrid start to the season has ended and they are in top form. Their last three games have made the rest of the competition see them as serious contenders for the playoffs, and automatic promotion is not seeming impossible either.
However, it's still early to say that they will win the Sky Bet Championship outright. If their current starting 11 was to play all the time, Villa are a shoe-in for promotion. Hopefully, for them, the international break taking place next week will not halt their current momentum.