It’s here. The moment both sides are waiting for. Aston Villa travel to St. Andrew’s in The Second City Derby.
The first Second City Derby during league competition in over six years!
Both sides are expected to be without key contributors. Birmingham City left back Johnathan Grounds is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card on the season. Robert Tesche and Paul Caddis are both long-term absentees as well.
For Villa, Jack Grealish is serving his final game in the three match suspension for stamping out Wolves’ Conor Coady. Center backs Tommy Elphick and Micah Richards are still nursing calf injuries and will not be available.
With Elphick and Richards out, this means Alan Hutton or Mile Jedinak will serve as the emergency center back…..joy.
Without further ado, our projected lineup:
PROJECTED ASTON VILLA XI (4-2-1-3): Gollini; Hutton, Chester, Baker, Amavi; Gardner, Jedinak; McCormack; Adomah, Kodjia, Ayew.
SUBSTITUTES: Bunn, Bacuna, Cissokho, Tshibola, Westwood, Green, Gestede
Same projected lineup as last match. The back four remains unchanged after a clean sheet against Fulham. Should be really nice to see Jordan Amavi get back to his pre-injury form.
Gary Gardner has been a revelation under Steve Bruce. His partnership with Jedinak certainly lacks mobility, but there’s no question that the ensuing results have been fruitful.
Look for Ross McCormack to operate just behind Jonathan Kodjia. His link-up play between the midfield and attack is crucial–as are his set piece deliveries.
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With Jordan Amavi buccaneering forward on the left side, Jordan Ayew should have ample room to cut-in on his preferred right foot.
Albert Adomah will look to provide more supply to Kodjia–who’s searching for his fourth goal in four matches.
Kickoff for Aston Villa v. Birmingham City is 8:00AM Eastern Time, Saturday.
We’ll go with a 2-1 Aston Villa victory. A tap-in for Jordan Ayew and a long-range strike from Gary Gardner wins it.