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Preview: Predicted Aston Villa XI vs West Brom – lineup, latest team and injury news

Aston Villa return to the Hawthorns for the first time since that exhilarating night in which they secured a place in the Championship play-off final, but a lot has changed in that time.

Dean Smith’s side will be facing arch-rivals West Brom in what is Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of the Baggies after he took over from the axed Slaven Bilic this week.

Prediction for tonight's Midlands derby at the Hawthorns?

Albion win

Albion win

Draw

Draw

Villa win

Villa win

The Villans were held to a 0-0 stalemate by Burnley in midweek despite all of their dominance in front of goal, but the 49-year-old will be buoyed by the fact that he has several of his key players returning from suspensions and injuries.

Here’s the XI we could see in tonight’s Midlands derby…

aston-villa-predicted-xi-vs-west-brom-hawthorns-premier-league-dean-smith

There could be as many as four changes to the side that drew to the Clarets on Thursday night.

Smith is able to welcome back Matty Cash from suspension and he comes straight back in for Ahmed Elmohamady, even despite the veteran deputising expertly, whilst we could also see Ezri Konsa return from illness.

He’ll replace Kortney Hause as the only other alteration to the back four.

Douglas Luiz is another Villa star who is in line for an instant return following suspension, and he is set to take the place of Marvelous Nakamba to partner John McGinn in central midfield.

The stalemate at Villa Park in midweek was too soon for Ross Barkley after injury, but we could see his presence back in the lineup here tonight to complete the engine room.

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WHO IS THE PLAYER?

It means Jack Grealish goes back to his left-wing spot with Anwar El Ghazi also remaining in the line-up, only this time he swaps flank. As a result, Smith could wield his axe on Bertrand Traore, who has struggled to make an impact since his £19m move from Lyon.

The £60k-per-week winger will have to settle for the bench.

In attack, Ollie Watkins will surely lead the line once again.

AND in other news, Aston Villa must offload out-of-favour Bjorn Engels in January transfer window

Article title: Preview: Predicted Aston Villa XI vs West Brom – lineup, latest team and injury news

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