Aston Villa are due to host Barnsley at the Villa Park in their next Championship fixture on Saturday. Steve Bruce’s side are currently placed at the 4th spot in the league table with 47 points to their name after 27 games and are very much in the race for promotion to the Premier League.
The Villans are concerned with Mile Jedinak’s situation as he is still nursing his thigh injury and is unlikely to play against the Tykes. Glenn Whelan was forced out of the game last weekend with a knee injury but is expected to start. In case he doesn’t, Birkir Bjarnason would be a good option.
Here is how we expect Bruce to roll out his starting line-up against Paul Heckingbottom’s side.
Sam Johnstone has played a superb role between the sticks for Bruce’s side, as the 24-year-old has garnered 12 clean sheets from 27 appearances and has made 2.44 saves per game on an average. He is likely to get yet another start with the gloves this weekend.
The central defence is anticipated to be marshalled by the duo of James Chester and John Terry. Terry was out injured but started the game in Aston Villa’s 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest last weekend and should continue to find a place in the starting line-up.
In the left-back slot, Alan Hutton is likely to be stationed to provide his industrious toil whereas from the right-back position, we expect to see Ahmed Elmohamady operate, although he is set to be monitored after complaining of a sore foot last weekend. However, we do expect him to shrug it off and make a start.
Glenn Whelan is expected to be the one sitting deeper in the five-man midfield that Bruce is expected to use. Whelan is likely to be the one to cushion the backline and dictate the tempo of the game from the middle.
Ahead of him, we are likely to see a quartet comprising of Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish in the middle, Robert Snodgrass on the right to provide some creativity and pace down that side and Albert Adomah on the left to showcase the requisite industry. The midfielders have performed well in recent fixtures and they would look to maintain their productivity.
Right up front, Scott Hogan is expected to get yet another start after having scored the only goal in the win against the Tricky Trees. He has scored merely 2 goals in 20 appearances for the Lions in the league so far this season and it would be important for him to up the ante from here onwards.