By Graham Hill
DEAN Smith’s biggest task ahead of the Villa Park clash with Blackburn Rovers may be trying to calm expectations.
Because you will struggle to find anyone who is not tipping a big win for Villa against Tony Mowbray’s inconsistent side.
Sky Sports pundit David Prutton reckons this will be comfortable 3-0 victory for the home side who are looking to clock up a fifth successive win to maintain their play-off bid.
Rovers can only dream of a top six spot though.
They look like a team destined for a mid-table finish in an uneventful season.
It is difficult to see how they can raise their game against a side with players who have recharged their batteries over the past fortnight.
Famous last words! Mowbray will make sure his team play with pride – but it is Villa who have suddenly revitalised their season and want that place in the top six.
Rovers have lost seven of their last 10 – with only two wins. But Smith is sure to warn against complacency and will ask for more of the same intensity Villa showed against Derby, Birmingham, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough this month.
March has been kind to Villa and what better way to round it off with another three points?
But Prutton wonders whether some of Villa’s momentum has been lost.
The Sky man said: “Did the international break come at a bad time for Aston Villa?
“They were absolutely flying with four wins on the spin before the gap, and they hope it won’t halt their momentum.
“Blackburn are pretty much destined for mid-table, which is not too bad when you consider they are a newly-promoted side. This is a home win for me, 3-0.”