Aston Villa’s toil yielded perfect dividends against Cardiff City in their last league fixture as the Villans clinched all three points from their 1-0 win against the Bluebirds at the Villa Park. A strong set of performances in the business end of the season will certainly help Steve’s Bruce’s men gather a strong momentum going into the business end of the season.
Bruce’s side are due to host Leeds United at the Villa Park on Friday and considering that the Whites are undergoing a stuttering form in the Championship for quite some time now, Aston Villa must try to strive for a win once again.
Aston Villa Team News
John Terry missed the midweek fixture against the Bluebirds owing to his ankle injury and it is uncertain how long the former Chelsea skipper will be out. Axel Tuanzebe went off the pitch in the first-half after his injury and is likely to be sidelined.
Meanwhile, Bruce will be bereft of the services of Jed Steer for the rest of the season due to his dislocated shoulder but Gabriel Agbonlahor and Jordan Lyden are a few days away from making their return. Alan Hutton will also not be available for selection due to his thigh injury.
Here is how we expect Bruce to dish out his starting line-up against Paul Heckingbottom’s side.
Sam Johnstone has been one of the best performers under the tutelage of Bruce this season. The 25-year-old shot-stopper has garnered 18 clean sheets from 42 appearances so far in the Championship this season and has made 2.50 saves per game on an average.
Mile Jedinak’s shrewd defensive attributes make him an astute commodity for the Lions and he is expected to be used as the centre-back yet again in the absence of Terry. Alongside him, we expect James Chester to line up and the duo will look to keep another clean sheet.
It will be a good opportunity for Neil Taylor to make his presence felt as Tuanzebe’s injury means he might get the nod to start from the left-back slot. Meanwhile, Ahmed Elmohamady is anticipated to keep his place at right-back.
Glenn Whelan had a fine game as the central defensive midfielder against Neil Warnock’s men and his performance should enable him to keep his place in the starting line-up. He has to cushion the back line meticulously yet again to save the blushes of his side.
Robert Snodgrass has been exceptionally brilliant from the right flank and he is set to get the green light to start once again. The duo comprising of Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane has churned a notable chemistry between them and should operate from the central midfield once again. Meanwhile, Albert Adomah should start from the left side of the midfield.
Up front, we expect Bruce to use Scott Hogan as the focal point. The former Hull City manager has rotated his strikers cleverly this season and might pick Hogan over Lewis Grabban and Jonathan Kodjia against the Peacocks.
Statistics Credits: Squawka