League Match 43: Aston Villa Travel To Craven Cottage

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Jordan Amavi of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Reading at Villa Park on April 15, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Jordan Amavi of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Reading at Villa Park on April 15, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images) /
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Fresh off a disappointing defeat, Aston Villa jump right back into the fray. The claret and blues battle playoff contenders Fulham.

Welp, Villa will officially spend the 2017/2018 season in the championship – confirmed in a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Reading F.C.

Steve Bruce’s focus now turns to next season. Which players will help him achieve promotion, and which will not?

Fulham regain midfield general Scott Parker after recovering from a back injury. Moreover, they have a goalkeeping battle between David Button and Marcus Bettinelli. Striker Chris Martin also misses out after picking up a red card against Norwich City.

Aston Villa confirmed Neil Taylor is a doubt after missing Saturday’s match with a groin problem. Mark Bunn is also out, confirming 19-year old Matija Sarkic as understudy.

ASTON VILLA PROJECTED LINEUP (4-4-2): Johnstone; Hutton, Chester (c), Baker, Amavi; Adomah, Lansbury, Hourihane, Green; Hogan, Kodjia.

Substitutes: Sarkic, Elphick, Bree, Gardner, Jedinak, Bacuna, Grealish.

Monday may come too soon for Mile Jedinak. Asking the 32-year old to go full ninety minutes just days apart could be a step too far.

Instead, Bruce opts for a 4-4-2 where Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane are given full license to dictate the middle. Jordan Amavi continues at left back after a horrific showing against Reading.

It is not out of the realm of possibility Steve Bruce uses Nathan Baker or James Bree at the position, either.

Next: Ranking The Five Best Villa U-20 Stars

Up top, Scott Hogan and Jonathan Kodjia get the start together. We outlined before that solidifying the chemistry in that partnership is extremely important for next season.

Kickoff is an early one in the continental United States. 9:45AM Eastern Time.