Dean Smith returned to Griffin Park on Wednesday evening and had to sit there and watch his Villa side get completely dominated by his former team.
The scoreline might have been only 1-0, but that does not paint a true reflection of the game. Villa struggled to get a foothold in the match, which was mostly due to the fact that their midfield could not keep hold of the ball or complete a simple pass. This meant that the defence was under pressure for the majority of the game.
The defence, mainly due to the efforts of Tyrone Mings, Tommy Elphick, and Lovre Kalinic, held out for 90 minutes, but they were punished severely when Elphick had one lapse in concentration.
Next up for Smith’s men is a local derby against West Bromich Albion at Villa Park, and if Villa fail to win they could find themselves 10 points adrift of 6th place, which would surely be curtains for their promotion hopes.
Here is our predicted Villa XI for Saturday’s game against West Brom:
GK: Lovre Kalinic
Had a very solid game against Brentford and will be Villa’s No. 1 for the foreseeable future.
RB: Alan Hutton
Was pretty poor on Wednesday, but due to a lack of options at right-back, we expect to see him start on Saturday.
CB: Tommy Elphick
Was at fault for Brentford’s winning goal on Wednesday, but up until then he had put in a very solid defensive display under immense pressure. Will definitely be starting again on Saturday.
CB: Tyrone Mings
Mings has been very good in his first three games for Villa, and with Chester still recovering from a knee injury, he will likely start at centre-back once again.
LB: Neil Taylor
Missed the defeat to Brentford due to an illness, but if he is fit again, we reckon he will start at left-back again.
RM: Jonathan Kodjia
Kodjia hasn’t been doing much as of late, but Adomah hasn’t done anything the whole season, so the Ivorian might as well be given a start.
CM: Glenn Whelan
Whelan is the best defensive midfielder that Villa have, so we reckon he will start in this position once again on Saturday.
CM: Conor Hourihane
Tom Carrol has been out with a slight strain, and while he might be fit to play on Saturday, we doubt he will start. Therefore, the unimpressive Hourihane will probably be given another start.
CM: John McGinn
The only midfielder who has been consistently good this season, and he will be one of the first names on Dean Smith’s teamsheet.
LM: Andre Green
Didn’t do much in 30 minutes against Brentford, but El Ghazi didn’t do much in an hour, so we reckon Green might be given a rare start on Saturday.
ST: Tammy Abraham
Let’s be honest, there is no way that Villa’s top goalscorer won’t be starting against West Brom.