Aston Villa will look to bounce back from their disappointing 0-0 draw against Reading last Saturday by picking up a win against Sheffield United at Villa Park on Friday evening.
The game against Reading is one that both set of fans have probably done their best to forget as it was completely devoid of goalmouth action. In fact, there were more yellow cards in the match than there were shots on target, which tells you all you need to know.
The only real talking point of the game was the incident that involved Tyrone Mings and Nelson Oliveira. The pair, as you probably already know due to everyone wanting to give their opinion on the matter, had a coming together and Mings’ right boot landed on Oliveira’s face, resulting in deep gashes and a broken nose.
Many called for Mings to receive a lengthy ban for what they deemed to be a deliberate act, but the FA said that they cannot take further action as the referee had seen it and felt it was an accident. Therefore, he is available for this Friday’s match.
This will have been great news for Dean Smith as he will need all of his best players available if they are to get all three points against a Sheffield United side which sits just three points away from an automatic qualification spot.
Here is our predicted Villa XI for Friday’s match against Sheffield United:
GK: Lovre Kalinic
Kept his first clean sheet for Villa against Reading and Smith will be hoping that it is the first of many.
RB: Alan Hutton
Put in a solid display against Reading, so we expect him to keep his place in the starting XI.
CB: Tyrone Mings
Was Villa’s best defender against Reading, and we reckon that he will play CB again to give Chester some more time to recover from his knee injury.
CB: Tommy Elphick
Elphick has been solid at the back since he was recalled from his loan spell at Hull, and he will be starting again on Friday night.
LB: Neil Taylor
Taylor has, and rightfully so, received a lot of stick this season for his shoddy performances, but to be fair to him he has been much improved in the last few matches. He will start at left-back once again.
RM: Jonathan Kodjia
Albert Adomah has been bringing nothing to the team this season, so we think Kodjia might replace him on the right wing for Friday’s game.
CM: Mile Jedinak
Glenn Whelan has played most the last two matches, so we think he might be given a rest and Jedinak will start in front of the defence.
CM: Tom Carroll
Conor Hourihane has been pretty poor lately, so we reckon Carroll will be given his first start in claret and blue.
CM: John McGinn
McGinn has been Villa’s most consistent midfielder this season, and he is one of the first names on Smith’s teamsheet.
LM: Anwar El Ghazi
El Ghazi is too inconsistent for our liking, but due to a lack of wide options at the moment, we reckon he will start once again.
ST: Tammy Abraham
With 19 goals in 24 matches this season, there’s no way that Abraham will be sitting this one out.