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Discussion Starter #1
Since that 4-0 away defeat at Old Trafford we have continuously climbed the table each week. We now lay firmly in 10th position and have the chance to go even higher with a victory on Tuesday evening. It is one of the games we would look at before-hand and expect to win- but you just can't write off any Premiership team thesedays.

Pompey opened their Premiership campaign with 3 points on the very first day of the season against us when they won 2-1. But this time around we will be looking to get back on track following the 2-1 FA Cup blow we suffered on Sunday. A win tomorrow could see us leapfrog Birmingham for the first time in over a year.

Anyway- my prediction:

Aston Villa 2
Angel
Hendrie


Portsmouth 0
 

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DELANEY RETURNS FOR VILLA

Aston Villa full-back Mark Delaney has declared himself fit for tomorrow's home Barclaycard Premiership encounter with Portsmouth.

The Welsh international missed yesterday's FA Cup encounter with Manchester United at Villa Park while resting his knee which will eventually require further surgery.

Midfielder Lee Hendrie is also expected to be available after being stretchered off with a gashed face against the Red Devils.

Juan Pablo Angel, leading scorer with 13 goals, is prepared to continue playing despite suffering from an ankle problem. Victory will lift Villa into sixth spot.


Team (from): Sorensen, Delaney, De la Cruz, Mellberg, Johnsen, Dublin, Samuel, Hendrie, McCann, Whittingham, Barry, Angel, Vassell, Hitzlsperger, Postma, Crouch, S Moore, Ridgewell.
 

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Re: ..

Pablo said:
Victory will lift Villa into sixth spot.
I forgot we are the only side playing tomorrow, so we will go up to 6th with victory :). That is crazy if you consider where we were just a few weeks ago- 18th. That just shows how tight the Premiership is this season- apart from the top 3 who appear to be running away with it..
 

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Yeah, it's amazing how you can go from 3rd bottom, and 3-4 weeks later be in the top 6! Shows how entertaining this premier league is this year round (besides the top 3).

I don't think we can afford to lose this game though. One defeat to a team like Portsmouth and we get sucked straight back into that relegation battle again. This is our last 3 pointer game for a while, very difficult fixtures on their way.

Aston Villa 3

Angel, Vassell, Barry.

Portsmouth 1

Sheringham
 

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ANGEL: I'LL PLAY IN PAIN

Juan Pablo Angel has spelt out his determination to play through the pain barrier to help sustain Aston Villa's Premiership revival.

And the club's record signing, linked with an £8million move to Arsenal, insisted: "For the first time since I came here three years ago, the team is playing really well."

Angel has an ankle problem and he was clearly short of full mobility during yesterday's 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United in the FA Cup.

But the Colombian international, who has scored 13 goals this season, is not looking to take the easy option and rest the injury as Villa prepare to drag weary limbs into action for tomorrow's televised league encounter with Portsmouth.

Angel told PA Sport: "The ankle is going to be sore for a few weeks but I just want to carry on playing. I don't want to stop.

"I may have to play in pain but I don't care. People will say that means I am showing a lot of commitment - but I just want to play. I want to play every single game that I can.

"I am not happy with the fact that we have to play two games in three days. I felt tired for the last 15 minutes against United and we've got to play again tomorrow so it is going to be tough.

"But you have got to deal with it. Hopefully we can get a result on Tuesday because we really need it. The main priority for us is to climb the table."
 

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Hi guys,
I should have been back to see Villa play on TV tonight but due to EgyptAir's incompetence, I did not get on the flight (they overbooked the flight for the last 5 days) and I return tomorrow by BA!

I reckon we will win tonight, we are on a roll and Pompey are not at the top of their game, also we are at home!

Aston Villa 2
Angel, Vassell

Portsmouth 0
 

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Another victory- but we were extremely fortunate with the winning goal. But we were due a bit of luck- and i'm very happy that we have won tonight having only just played 48 hours ago against Man Utd.

Incredible how we have shot up to 6th (now above the Bluenose Scum i'd like to point out :D). It's great times for us Villa fans at the moment- long let it continue..
 

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VILLA MOVE INTO TOP SIX

Aston Villa moved into the top six of the Premiership for the first time this season after Darius Vassell scored a fortuitous 85th-minute winner in a 2-1 victory against Portsmouth.

Vassell knew little about the goal which rebounded in off his stomach from close range after Villa skipper Olof Mellberg's initial effort had been blocked by Boris Zivkovic.

Juan Pablo Angel, who has declared his commitment to Villa after being linked with a move to Arsenal, brought the match to life after 21 minutes with the breakthrough.

Jlloyd Samuel took a quick throw-in and Gareth Barry pumped a first-time cross to the far side of the area and Angel climbed above defender Arjan De Zeeuw to power a header past Pavel Srnicek into the far corner.

Hendrie came close to doubling Villa's tally after controlling a low cross from Samuel and his rising effort clipped the post.

Pompey needed only four minutes of the second half to draw level as Patrik Berger sent in an inswinging free-kick and Yakubu got free of Olof Mellberg to head home from close range for his sixth goal of the campaign.
 

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O'LEARY'S PORTSMOUTH VERDICT

Aston Villa manager David O'Leary is refusing to get carried away with his side's top-six placing in the Barclaycard Premiership.

Goals from Juan Pablo Angel and Darius Vassell earned Villa a 2-1 home success over Portsmouth as they took their points tally to 13 from the last five games.

O'Leary said: "We got a lucky goal to win from Vassell, but I thought the best team won the game.

"The players looked tired at half time after playing against Manchester United on Sunday but they dug in and got the result.

"We pressurised them at the end and the good thing is we are now on a run. Maybe the players will get a bit of belief that if you do dig in, then you might get a fluky goal like the one we've had today.

"I'm delighted to be in sixth place but there is a long way to go. But we have seen how quickly fortunes can change with two or three wins shooting you up the table and two or three defeats knocking you straight back down."
 

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Fantastic result for us! I came home and watched some of the match this afternoon on Skysports. Angel's goal was a peach of a cross by Barry!!
 
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