The Steve Bruce era begins with a home match-up against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The two West Midlands sides look to catapult themselves up the Championship table.
The return from the international break is always a welcomed respite for any football fan. Both clubs look healthy and hungry to claim three points at Villa Park.
Not so long ago, Wolverhampton Wanderers, like Aston Villa, belonged to the Premier League. During Mick McCarthy’s reign the club enjoyed an extended spell in the top flight until his sacking in 2012.
Today’s Wolverhampton includes two players that have stuck around since then: Goalkeeper Carl Ikeme and center back Danny Batth.
Other notable Wolves players include on-loan Manchester United left back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Iceland winger Jon Daði Böðvarsson–who is set to be available after missing on Wolves’ last two league games.
Without further ado, let’s look at the projected Aston Villa lineup with Steve Bruce in charge:
PROJECTED ASTON VILLA XI (4-2-3-1): Gollini; Bacuna, Elphick, Chester, Amavi; Jedinak, Tshibola; Ayew, McCormack, Grealish; Kodjia
Substitutes: Bunn, Baker, Cissokho, Adomah, Westwood, Hepburn-Murphy, Gestede
Pierluigi Gollini is set for a return after missing out with a groin injury. After all the flak he’s received this year, he’s still better than number two, Mark Bunn.
Steve Bruce can win a lot of fans over doing one simple task–starting Jordan Amavi. He’s ready, he’s deserved it, he’s better than his competition, Aly Cissokho.
ClaretVillans covered it recently: that the incumbent midfield pairing of Westwood and Jedinak needs a change. Enter stage right, Aaron Tshibola.
Steve Bruce has a lot of options in the attack much like his predecessor. The key, however, is unlocking the right combination to unleash lethality on the English second division. Whatever the case, Ross McCormack has proven his place in the starting eleven in some capacity.
Getting Jack Grealish to replicate his international form could go a long way in assisting Aston Villa. He assisted in three of England’s five U-21 goals in a rout of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodjia round out the projected lineup.
Kickoff is slated for Saturday, October 15th. 12:30PM Eastern Time.