Aston Villa head up to Greater Manchester this weekend to take on Wigan in the Championship.
Villa fans will be desperately hoping that the eleven players that Dean Smith decides to field will not put on a similar show to the one that was witnessed last Saturday against Swansea at Villa Park. If they do, it is very safe to say that Villa will be heading back to Birmingham with no points.
Wigan have had a pretty difficult season and currently find themselves sitting in 20th place in the table, just 4 points above the relegation zone. In fact, from their last five games they have lost four and drawn one. The last time they won a match was on the 28th of November.
Smith’s men haven’t been in sparkling form in the league, but they have only lost once in their last eleven matches. However, this includes four draws from their last 6 matches.
If they are to end up with a play-off place come May, they really need to start turning all their draws into wins and a match against a struggling Wigan represents the perfect chance to do just that.
Here is our predicted Villa XI for Saturday’s game against Wigan.
GK: Lovre Kalinic
His debut couldn’t have gone much worse, but he will be Villa’s No. 1 for the foreseeable future.
RB: James Bree
Hutton has been diabolical as of late, so we expect him to be dropped and replaced by Bree.
CB: James Chester
Sat out of Villa’s inept performance against Swansea in the FA Cup, but he will definitely be back in the starting XI for the game against Wigan.
CB: Tommy Elphick
With Tuanzebe still out injured, Elphick will play alongside Chester once again.
LB: Kortney Hause
Hause is able to play at left-back, so we think he might replace Taylor, who has also been diabolical as of late.
RM: Yannick Bolasie
Bolasie should be able to cause the Wigan defenders all sorts of issues with his pace and trickery.
CM: Birkir Bjarnason
Whelan has had a lot of game time lately, so we think he will be given a rest and that Bjarnason will play in the defensive midfield position.
CM: Conor Hourihane
Hourihane has been poor lately, but due to a lack of options at the moment, it’s likely that he will start. Let’s hope the rest he got at the weekend did him the world of good.
CM: John McGinn
McGinn has been one of Villa’s standout performers this season, and he will certainly be starting again at the weekend.
LM: Jonathan Kodjia
Adomah has been out of form for the whole season, so we expect Kodjia to start on the left wing.
ST: Tammy Abraham
Abraham has scored 16 goals in just 21 appearances for Villa this season and will certainly be leading the attack against Wigan.