Aston Villa look to end their circus of draws with a second league win–this time at Deepdale Stadium vs. PNEFC.
I don’t buy into reports that Roberto Di Matteo will be axed if he fails to deliver a win on Saturday. Yes, pressure is ramping up, but their league position isn’t a concern as of yet. Should Villa be embarrassed Dr. Tony Xia could look to freshen the club with a new voice in charge however.
Luckily for Aston Villa, the club is relatively healthy at the moment. Long-term absentees Ritchie De Laet and Libor Kozak along with the suspended Leandro Bacuna (yellow card accumulation) are the only players not traveling to Preston.
Ex-Villa Academy striker Callum Robinson should feature somewhere for PNEFC. The twenty-one year old has nine league appearance on the season with a pair of goals. He was sold permanently in the summer after being told he did not have a future with the club.
More from Claret Villans
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- Tyrone Mings injured in Aston Villa’s season-opening 5-1 defeat
- Aston Villa draw Hibernian or FC Luzern for Europa Conference League play-off
- Aston Villa sign winger Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen
- Aston Villa close in on deal to sign Pau Torres from Villareal
Other familiar faces in the #PNEFC squad include ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard and Ireland international, Aiden McGeady.
Preston North End currently sit in 19th place level with Aston Villa at ten points. Their goal differential is significantly worse at negative four however.
With no Bacuna or De Laet at his disposal, Di Matteo must turn to…wait for it…Alan Hutton at right back :(. That is of course unless he surprises with Jordan Lyden or Albert Adomah at the position.
PROJECTED ASTON VILLA XI (4-3-3): Gollini; Hutton, Elphick, Chester, Amavi; Jedinak, Tshibola, McCormack; Ayew, Kodjia, Grealish
SUBS: Bunn, Baker, Cissokho, Lyden, Westwood, Adomah, Gestede
The inclusion of Ross McCormack would be a welcomed addition to the lineup. Expect him to operate just behind the target striker where he leads the league in 3.9 chances created per match.
Don’t look at this as a rigid 4-3-3; it should be very fluid–it could transform into a 4-5-1 when defense dictates the match. Veterans like Tommy Elphick and Mile Jedinak need to step up their game if they are expected to retain positions every match.
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, October 1st, 10am Eastern Time