It’s a quick turnaround in the EFL Championship. Dean Smith takes his team on the road to Carrow Road on Tuesday. How will he line-up Aston Villa Football Club?
Carrow Road is the venue in what should be a tightly-contested Championship league match between Aston Villa and Norwich City. Both sides are coming off impressive weekend victories over Swansea City and Nottingham Forest, respectively.
With Daniel Farke at the helm, the Canaries have won four of their last six matches after an indifferent start to the season. In fact, they’ve climbed into the playoff places – currently 6th-place on a +1 goal differential. Coincidentally, three points is all that separates the two sides so a win would do Dean Smith and Aston Villa a load of good.
Norwich are buoyed by the 5 goals of Finnish forward Teemu Pukki who’s been on a tear internationally as well. But it was Jordan Rhodes who got the start at centre-forward at the weekend, and he’s expected to start vs. Aston Villa as well. Defensively, Timm Klose, Christoph Zimmermann, and Grant Hanley form an impressive trio of central defenders in front of goalkeeper Tim Krul. The former two formed a partnership on Saturday.
Aston Villa Predicted XI (4-3-3): Nyland; Hutton, Chester (c), Tuanzebe, Taylor; Jedinak, Hourihane, Grealish; Elmohamady, Abraham, Bolasie.
Substitutes: Bunn, Bree, Whelan, Bjarnason, Adomah, Kodjia, Hogan.
Fortunately, Dean Smith has plenty of options at his disposal, namely Conor Hourihane, who is really good. For an away match on short rest, we could see the introduction of either Mile Jedinak or Glenn Whelan in midfield as well.
With those changes, I expect at least one more in either fullback or wing positions. There are a lot of players to choose from and Yannick Bolasie, Anwar El Ghazi, Jonathan Kodjia, or James Bree could find themselves in Smith’s starting eleven.