After falling to a controversial 2-0 defeat to Manchester City last time out, Aston Villa will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they take on Newcastle United on Saturday night.
Dean Smith’s side were on the wrong end of a contentious VAR call at the Etihad Stadium, with the Villa boss himself getting sent off in the process for his protests.
The Midlands side do have the perfect opportunity to bounce back immediately with a home clash against one of the Premier League’s most out-of-form sides in Newcastle – the Magpies have failed to win any of their last nine games in all competitions.
Smith may consider making a couple of changes to keep things fresh, but by and large, the Villa side should remain the same. And with that in mind, below is a look at how they could line up against Newcastle on Saturday evening.
The back four could remain unchanged, with the likes of Tyrone Mings eager to put things right after being at the centre of that VAR controversy. The main doubt of course surrounds Matt Targett who was substituted with a quarter of an hour to go against City, and that could see Neil Taylor come in from the cold.
In midfield, Morgan Sanson’s potential arrival from Ligue 1 giants Marseille means the likes of Douglas Luiz and John McGinn will face intense competition for their places.
But for Saturday’s game, McGinn’s fifth yellow card of the Premier League season against City has ruled him out of contention, and that should see Marvelous Nakamba return from the cold.
The big call Smith may look to make is dropping the £78k-per-week earning Bertrand Traore, who had a disappointing game against City, and recalling Anwar El Ghazi, who’s been in superb form in recent weeks with five goals in six games.
Predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Taylor; Luiz, Nakamba; El Ghazi, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins.