Aston Villa beat fierce local rivals Birmingham City once again on Sunday afternoon, but the game was overshadowed by a thug who thought it would be a bit of a laugh to run on the pitch and assault Jack Grealish.
However, it was the Villa captain who had the last laugh as he scored the only goal of the game. Meanwhile, the thug, who has been named as 27-year-old Paul Mitchell, will be spending the next 14 weeks behind bars.
He has also been banned from St. Andrew’s for life, but the majority of Villa fans will probably argue that it would have been more of a punishment if he was forced to go watch Birmingham City play every weekend.
Next up for Dean Smith’s men is an away trip to play Nottingham Forest. The last time these two sides met, they scored five goals apiece in what will likely go down as the most exciting Championship game of the season.
A win for Villa will take them above Forest, and, if other results go their way, they could see themselves sitting just one point adrift of the play-off places.
Here is our predicted XI for Wednesday’s game against Nottingham Forest:
GK: Jed Steer
Steer hasn’t put a foot wrong since he replaced Lovre Kalinic, so we expect him to start once again.
RB: Ahmed Elmohamady
As Villa’s only available right-back, Elmohamady will almost certainly be starting on Wednesday.
CB: Tyrone Mings
Mings has been absolutely brilliant for Villa since he joined in January, and will be one of the first names on Dean Smith’s teamsheet.
CB: Kourtney Hause
Hause is getting better with each passing game, and due to Villa’s extensive defensive injuries, we expect to see him line up alongside Mings.
LB: Neil Taylor
With Hause playing at centre-back, I think it is safe to assume that Taylor will play at left-back.
RM: Andre Green
Came on for the ineffective Adomah against Birmingham and helped turn the tide in Villa’s favour. Therefore, he might be rewarded with a start on Wednesday.
CM: Conor Hourihane
Glenn Whelan was off the pace against Birmingham, but he has played a lot of game lately. Therefore, we think he will be rested and Hourihane will play a more defensive role.
CM: John McGinn
Came on for the final 30 minutes or so against Birmingham and had an immediate impact on the game. Smith has to find room for him in the starting XI.
CM: Jack Grealish
Grealish was fantastic against Birmingham (despite being assaulted early on), and he will be the first name on Smith’s teamsheet on Wednesday.
LM: Jonathan Kodjia
Anwar El-Ghazi has been pretty inconsistent of late, so Smith might be tempted to give Kodjia a start.
ST: Tammy Abraham
There’s no way that Smith will leave out one of the leading scorers in the league.