Charles N’Zogbia has suffered an indifferent start to life at Aston Villa but he can take an important first step to winning over the club’s fans with a goal against QPR.
Having lost Stewart Downing and Ashley Young in the summer, N’Zogbia was the only player brought in to fill the void left and at a cost of £9.5m, big expectations were placed on his shoulders.
However, he has flattered to deceive thus far, with no goals to show for his time at the club and some off field problems that resulted in him being dropped and fined for breaching club discipline.
Alex McLeish believes these problems are now in the past and with N’Zogbia having also recovered from a heel injury, the time may be now for him to make an impact.
It was in February last year that N’Zogbia began to step things up at Wigan and become their key player in their battle for Premier League survival.
Villa’s current position is not as precarious as that of Wigan at this stage in the last campaign, but some valuable input from N’Zogbia would not go amiss.
N’Zogbia netted six times in Wigan’s final 14 fixtures from the start of February, including a goal on this very day in a draw with West Brom.
It is 10/1 in the Premier League odds that N’Zogbia opens the scoring with his first Aston Villa goal against QPR and a tempting 7/2 that he strikes at any point in the 90 minutes.
With Stephen Ireland also showing signs of getting back towards his creative best and Robbie Keane making the right impression after signing on loan, there is enough to suggest that N’Zogbia will have chances against QPR.
Aston Villa’s odds are 5/6 to beat QPR, who could themselves start with a whole new strike pairing out to make an impact, with Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora signing for the club on deadline day.