Aston Villa put in another insipid display last weekend as they were beaten 2-0 by local rivals West Bromich Albion at Villa Park.
The home fans had to sit there and watch as Darren Moore’s men barely broke a sweat collecting the three points that put them within touching distance of automatic promotion.
The defeat left Villa sitting in 10th place with 44 points to their name, 7 points outside the play-off places. However, it must be noted that Middlesbrough, who sit in 6th place, currently have two games in hand over Dean Smith’s men.
Next up for Villa is a trip to the Bet365 Stadium to face Stoke. The Potters, despite having kept a number of their best players after they were relegated, have had a pretty poor season and have lost 5, drawn 2, and won 1 from their last 8 matches.
Villa haven’t fared much better mind you with 3 defeats, 4 draws, and 1 win from their last 8.
Here is our predicted Villa XI for Saturday’s game against Stoke:
GK: Lovre Kalinic
Was taken off at half-time against West Brom as he took a knock to the head, but he should be fit to start against Stoke.
RB: Alan Hutton
Due to a real lack of options at right-back, we expect to see Hutton starting once again.
CB: Tommy Elphick
Elphick is forming a great partnership with Mings, and with James Chester still out injured, he will certainly be starting at the weekend.
CB: Tyrone Mings
Mings has been Villa’s best player in every game since he came to the club, and he will certainly be starting on Saturday.
LB: Kourtney Hause
Hause had a very solid game at left-back against West Brom, so we expect him to start against Stoke.
RM: Albert Adomah
Was an unused substitute last weekend, so since he should be well rested, it is like that he will start on the right wing against Stoke.
CM: Glenn Whelan
Whelan has been playing well lately, so we expect to see him start in a defensive midfield role once again at the weekend.
CM: Birkir Bjarnason
With McGinn suspended for the next two games, we reckon Bjarnason could be given some game time.
CM: Conor Hourihane
Hourihane was cheered off the pitch against West Brom, but due to suspensions and injuries, Smith won’t be able to take him out the firing line this weekend.
LM: Andre Green
He started against West Brom and played pretty well in the first-half. We think he will be given another chance to impress on Saturday.
ST: Tammy Abraham
As Villa’s most prolific striker, he certainly be leading the line against Stoke on Saturday.