The Stadium of Light plays host to Aston Villa on Tuesday as Chris Coleman’s Black Cats seek to avoid relegation.
Saturday’s snow cancellation left us with a little more downtime. Instead of a Villa Park fixture, the claret and blues skip the QPR match (scheduled for Tuesday the 13th) and travel to Sunderland.
The Black Cats are not good. They sit dead last in the EFL Championship on 28 points through 35 matches. They have five league wins all season with a -24 goal differential. So yeah, Chris Coleman’s men are fighting to prevent relegation in consecutive seasons. Ouch.
On paper, Aston Villa should win this match against inferior opposition with some added good news. Albert Adomah is fully recovered from his hamstring strain. Additionally, Jack Grealish will face a late assessment, as does Alan Hutton, though the Scotland fullback is doubtful. Axel Tuanzebe, however, looks to have recovered.
Projected Aston Villa XI (4-4-1-1): Johnstone; Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Taylor; Snodgrass, Whelan, Hourihane, Adomah; Grabban; Hogan.
There should not be any genuine surprises in Steve Bruce’s XI, but a few spots remain up-for-grabs. Ahmed Elmohamady likely retains the right fullback role with Tuanzebe working his way back to 100% match fitness; Neil Taylor displaces Hutton on the left.
Glenn Whelan, after his excellent Sheffield Wednesday match, maintains his central midfield place. Though, a midfield pivot doesn’t suit his strength entirely. I would think Lewis Grabban is assured a starting role, but I’m not exactly sure where; I have him directly underneath Scott Hogan for Tuesday.
Look for Villa’s dynamic wing duo of Adomah and Snodgrass to attack Sunderland fullbacks Adam Mathews and Bryan Oviedo, respectively.
Substitutes: Bunn, Tuanzebe, Jedinak, Onomah, Bjarnason, Grealish, Davis.
Yes, Jack could start, but he’s better suited for a 20-minute cameo in preparation for Wolverhampton this coming weekend.