Aston Villa hosted Burton Albion last weekend at the Villa Park and were successful in bagging all three points as they notched up a thrilling 3-2 win. Owing to their victory, Steve Bruce’s men are now placed at the 3rd spot in the Championship table with 56 points to their name from 30 outings. They have been quite superb in their productivity of late.
Merely one point separates them from the second place, i.e. the automatic qualification spot and the Villans must be eyeing that. On Sunday, Aston Villa will be entertaining Birmingham City at the Villa Park. Villa will go into the game looking for their seventh successive league victory and here is how we expect Bruce to roll out his starting XI against the Blues.
Sam Johnstone should find himself between the sticks for the Lions yet again. The 24-year-old has mustered 13 clean sheets from 30 league appearances, making 2.50 saves per game on an average and deserves to get the nod to start as the custodian.
The central defensive pairing of James Chester and John Terry has yielded substantial dividends and the reliable duo will station themselves at the heart of the defence this weekend. They have been quite resilient together and are one of the reasons for their side’s success so far this season.
From the left-back slot, we anticipate seeing the industry of Ahmed Elmohamady who will be desperate to put on a stellar show after scoring an own goal against Burton Albion last weekend. Alan Hutton is expected to take command of the right-back slot.
Birkir Bjarnason is likely to be slotted in front of the backline. The defensive midfield slot holds huge importance and given that Bjarnason has really thrived at shielding the defence, his position in the starting line-up of the Claret & Blue is unlikely to be trifled with.
While Robert Snodgrass might take the right-wing, Albert Adomah would be a sensible option to opt for the other side. Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish are expected to be pencilled in the middle of the park. Hourihane and Grealish are more than capable of dictating the tempo of the game and engineer offensive endeavours.
Instead of Scott Hogan, we expect Bruce to pick Lewis Grabban. Grabban was scoring regularly while playing for Sunderland as he smashed 12 goals from 18 Championship appearances and Aston Villa’s January transfer window signing will be an astute choice up front.