How Aston Villa must line up when they host QPR on Saturday

Aston Villa will look to close the gap on the Championship automatic promotion places when they host Queens Park Rangers at Villa Park on Saturday.

The Villans moved into the top two after beating arch-rivals Birmingham City 2-0 last month, but after taking just four points from the last nine available in the league they are currently four points adrift of second-place Cardiff City with 12 matches of the campaign left.

Three of those four points came last time out in an entertaining 4-2 win against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, where they twice trailed before eventually sealing a victory with second-half goals from Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane and Robert Snodgrass.

Steve Bruce’s men will know that they need to keep picking up wins in order to secure the top-two finish they are desperate for, and they will certainly take some solace in the fact that QPR have the fourth-worst record in the Championship having only taken 11 points from their 17 league fixtures on the road.

Bruce brought Mohamed Elmohamady, Glenn Whelan and Lewis Grabbban into the XI at Hillsborough, and the 57-year-old will be considering making changes against Rangers too given that his team weren’t at their best against Wednesday and the fact that he had to change formation during the 90 minutes.

Here is how Aston Villa must line up against QPR on Saturday, ahead of Sam Johnstone in goal…