Aston Villa got their pre-season off to the perfect start on Thursday morning thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win against Minnesota United at the Allianz Field.
Dean Smith’s men were the better team throughout the 90 minutes and Jack Grealish opened the scoring for them with 36 minutes on the clock. The whole first XI was changed at half-time and two well-taken late goals from Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason added a bit of gloss to the scoreline.
This was a good result for Villa, as Minnesota United, or the Loons as they are known as, are currently fighting for a post-season playoff spot so they would have been more match fit.
Next up, Villa travel to the Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium on Sunday to take on Shrewsbury.
We are now going to try to predict the starting XI, but as it is a pre-season match, don’t be surprised if we get it completely wrong.
GK: Jed Steer
We think Jed Steer will start again, but will be swapped out for Kalinic at half-time.
RB: Frederic Guilbert
Guilbert was the standout performer in the second-half on Thursday, so we think he will be rewarded with a starting position on Sunday.
CB: Tyrone Mings
Lined up alongside James Chester in the second-half against Minnesota, but we think Smith will start him against Shrewsbury.
CB: Ezri Konsa
The youngster started alongside Hause on Thursday, but we reckon Smith will want to see how he gets on playing alongside Mings.
LB: Matt Targett
Started against Minnesota and will likely start again on Sunday. Taylor will probably replace him at half-time.
Jota played really well against Minnesota and we can see him starting the match on Sunday.
CM: Jack Grealish
As club captain, I think it is safe to say that Grealish will start on Sunday afternoon.
CM: John McGinn
Didn’t start against Minnesota on Thursday, but we reckon he will be given a starting position at the weekend.
CM: Conor Hourihane
Started the last match and we wouldn’t be surprised if he started again against Shrewsbury.
LM: Anwar El Ghazi
Villa are a bit short on the wings still, so we expect to see El Ghazi starting again on the left.
ST: Wesley Moraes
As Moraes is probably going to be Villa’s mine striker this season, it is highly likely that he will be given another start on Sunday.