The last 180 minutes of football that Aston Villa have played has been, to put it politely, absolutely embarrassing. In fact, the performances against Swansea and Wigan were so disjointed that you would be forgiven for thinking that eleven random men were picked from the crowd and asked if they fancied a kick about.
Dean Smith’s men desperately need to go on a winning run if they are to have any hope of finishing in one of the four play-off spots come the end of the season, but their next game is at home against a Hull team that have won six games on the bounce, including an impressive 2-0 win over Bielsa’s Leeds United at Elland Road.
Therefore, if the home side play anything close to how they have been playing as of late, they will get an absolute mauling, and the Villa Park faithful might just have to listen to a rendition of “you’re getting mauled by the tigers” while witnessing full-grown men claw at the air in front of them. Oh, just when we thought things couldn’t get much worse.
However, I’m quietly optimistic that the lads will pull their fingers out this weekend and put in a good showing to earn a positive result. Surely they cannot be as bad as they were against Wigan? For our sanity, I sincerely hope not.
Here is our predicted Villa XI for Saturday’s game against Hull.
GK: Lovre Kalinic
Kalinic will be Villa’s number 1 for the foreseeable future. He showed against Wigan that he is capable of making very good saves.
RB: James Bree
Bree, like the majority of his teammates, had a poor game against Wigan, but we don’t think he will be dropped for Saturday’s game against Hull.
CB: James Chester
Chester could really do with a rest as he is clearly struggling with his knee, but after Hause’s rusty cameo appearance on Saturday, we don’t see him starting the game. Therefore, with Tuanzebe still out injured, Smith has no other option but to start Chester.
CB: Tommy Elphick
Elphick hasn’t been too bad since he returned to Villa Park, and he should line up alongside Chester on Saturday.
LB: Alan Hutton
Neil Taylor is desperately out of form and needs to be put out of his misery. We reckon Hutton will play at left-back against Hull as Villa haven’t signed anyone else so far.
LM: Jonathan Kodjia
We reckon El Ghazi will drop to the bench and Smith will give Kodjia a chance to shine.
CM: Glenn Whelan
Villa have one of the weakest defences in the league, so we reckon Whelan will be given a start in order to provide them with some more cover.
CM: Conor Hourihane
Hourihane has been very poor as of late, but due to a lack of available options at the moment, he will probably be given another start.
CM: John McGinn
McGinn has been Villa’s standout performer this season and he will definitely be starting against Hull at the weekend.
RM: Yannick Bolasie
Bolasie hasn’t done enough to justify his massive wages, but Smith will probably start him in the hope that he shows us all what he is capable of.
ST: Tammy Abraham
As Villa’s top scorer this season, he is one of the first names on the teamsheet. Hopefully he can get some good service from the midfield.
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