Former professional footballer, now Sky Sports pundit David Prutton believes that Aston Villa will suffer Wembley heartbreak once again.
The Villans head to the national stadium to take on Derby County in the Championship play-off final on Monday afternoon, the match so often dubbed the ‘richest game in football’, with the prize of a return to the Premier League the reward for the winners.
Villa came within 90 minutes of achieving that last term, only to lose this exact same contest 1-0 to Fulham, and Prutton feels a repeat of that horrible day could take place.
The former Nottingham Forest midfielder previewed the match, and suggests that the belief that Derby will take from their semi-final win over Leeds United last week will be the difference between the two sides on the big stage.
“Both of these sides are much better going forward than in defence, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a solitary goal decided this one again. It could so easily go either way, but I just think because of the way Derby came back against Leeds they will believe they can do it again.” Prutton posted in his Sky Sports column, before predicting a 1-0 win for the Rams.
The Villans will have to make sure that negative memories of last season do not get into their heads ahead of this huge clash, but they can go into it knowing they have beaten Derby 3-0 and 4-0 already this term.
This is a completely different ball game it must be said, but such confidence can never be a bad thing heading into a massive occasion like this one, although Villa boss Dean Smith will know his side will need to show an improvement on their semi-final success over West Bromwich Albion, where they looked average for large parts.
One thing the Villans coach will not need to do however, is a team talk, as Prutton seems to have done it for him based on his column.