Aston Villa look to jump-start their league position by claiming three points at Oakwell.
Barnsley Football Club sit in an impressive 7th place after winning five of their first nine league matches. They look to sink their teeth in a beleaguered Aston Villa squad fresh off a 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
While undefeated at home, Aston Villa’s away record is certainly more worrying. Through four matches they collected two points with only one goal scored. This trend must change starting tomorrow if the club truly seek a top-six promotion spot.
All hope is not lost however. There are forty-six total matches in the second division and the difference between 6th and 17th place remains only seven points.
Tuesday’s match marks the return of Jack Grealish. The attacking midfielder enjoyed a hot start to his season before being suspended for Saturday’s clash with Newcastle. The club’s internal investigation into a hotel party found him worthy of a serious fine and a one game suspension.
For all of our’s sake, we hope Jack Grealish matures because the only thing stopping his prodigious talent is himself.
Youngsters Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Andre Green, and Keinan Davis will not be involved. All three are in the first eleven for the Premier League 2 match up with Middlesbrough today.
With that said it is possible Ross McCormack could return to the squad. With no young attacking cover, the Scotland international could be fit enough to feature. Through his seven league appearances, McCormack leads the Championship in chances created per match at 3.9. He holds an astounding lead over second place Tom Cairney’s 3.4.
PROJECTED ASTON VILLA XI (4-3-3): Gollini; Bacuna, Elphick, Chester, Cissokho; Jedinak, Tshibola, Westwood; Ayew, Kodjia, Grealish
SUBS: Bunn, Baker, Amavi, Gardner, Adomah, McCormack, Gestede
Aly Cissokho could get the nod over Jordan Amavi simply because Amavi went the distance against Newcastle. Coming off an injury, he still needs time off here and there. Playing away from home could maximize Cissokho’s defensive qualities.
Aaron Tshibola–the hero vs. Newcastle–should be in the team sheet. Look for his ability to make plays while Jedinak shields the back line.
This front three will look to interchange and wreak havoc among Barnsley defenders. A full compliment of Ross McCormack and Rudy Gestede on the bench supplies Roberto Di Matteo with ample tactics to play with.
A relatively healthier Aston Villa squad should dominate. I’m looking for a 3-1 win at Oakwell ground.