After falling to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Brighton last time out in the Premier League, Aston Villa will hope to get back to winning ways when they travel south to face West Ham.
Dean Smith’s side have enjoyed a fine start to the new season, with some notable wins over the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal. But some eyebrow-raising losses to the likes of Southampton and Brighton have just served to halt some of the momentum too, and the Villa boss is now also having to contend with a significant injury blow to key man Ross Barkley.
The England international was forced off in the opening moments against the Seagulls with a hamstring injury, and will miss the trip to the London Stadium on Monday night.
A lot of Smith’s pre-match decision-making will centre around how he goes about dealing with that, and below is a look at just how Villa could line up for the game against the Hammers.
Despite a particularly awful display from Tyrone Mings which saw some fans even slam his “arrogance”, Smith is unlikely to make any changes to his back-five, and will hope the Brighton showing was just a minor blip on the road.
John McGinn’s latest below-par display in central midfield meanwhile is surely raising questions about just how long it can continue before the Villa boss decides to drop him from the team, and he could make a huge call by doing so on Monday night.
That could see Conor Hourihane come into the team to offer a bit more guile and creativity to go alongside Douglas Luiz.
And with Smith not exactly having too many options in that number ten role to replace Barkley, Jack Grealish will surely have to move inside, with Trezeguet moving over to the left-flank and 55-cap dynamo Bertrand Traore coming in on the right.
The Burkina Faso international was the man who came on for Barkley against Brighton, setting up Ezri Konsa for the Villa equaliser.
Predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Hourihane; Traore, Grealish, Trezeguet; Watkins.