Aston Villa November Preview: Time for the Villans to Close the Gap on the Promotion Places

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After a mediocre start to the season, Steve Bruce's men have turned their season around and have lost just one in their last 11 Championship games.

Despite this, Villa are still six points off the automatic promotion places, yet, perhaps November is the time to close the gap on the top two.

The Villans begin the month against a Preston side in poor form, and then host Sheffield Wednesday three days later.

Many of Villa's players will then join their respective nations on international duty, where manager Steve Bruce will be hoping that none of them pick up any injuries.

When the club return to Championship action, they travel to Loftus Road to face QPR, before hosting Sunderland and Ipswich at Villa Park.

In reality, Villa's fixture list is relatively kind in November and the club don't face any of the current top eight.


Steve Bruce will know that his side can build on their form in the past two months, and must surely be aiming for at least ten points from their next five league games.

Should Villa achieve this, they will likely put pressure on the league's top two, and start to create a gap between themselves and the sides just outside the play-offs.

Bruce will also be buoyed by the return of a number of players to the first team squad.


Neil Taylor has now fully served his three-game suspension for his red card against Bolton. Jack Grealish and Henri Lansbury should return to first team action this month, whilst Mile Jedinak played in Aston Villa's draw against Birmingham on Sunday.

However, Jonathan Kodjia may be unavailable for  a number of weeks after he suffering a fresh injury to his ankle, which he fractured last April.

In his place, much of the onus will fall on Keinan Davis and Scott Hogan, the latter of which is yet to score in the league this season.


Bruce may have to rotate much of his team during November. Villa begin the month with three games in six days, and finish it with four matches in 11 days.

Villa have looked much more dependable when selecting a settled side, but this may not be an option in November.

Therefore, a number of Villa's squad players will need to step up over the coming weeks.

The Villans need a strong November to cement their place in the top six, and establish themselves as a title contenders, before a busy December with a tough run of fixtures.

However, should they fail to do so, then any hope of finishing in the top two may begin to fade away.