Aston Villa host bitter Midlands rivals West Brom at Villa Park on Saturday. Dean Smith will be keen to see his side get back to winning ways having been defeated by his former club Brentford last time out.
The home advantage may give the Villans a boost, but the Baggies will still fancy their chances of getting a positive result. Villa’s best chance is to target the Baggies’ weak point – the middle of the park.
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The likes of Gareth Barry and James Morrison – should either be selected in the starting XI – offer plenty of technical quality but they lack pace and mobility. Smith could select a midfield unit capable of outrunning West Brom’s.
Players such as John McGinn, Conor Hourihane and Tom Carroll have the physical attributes to overrun and outmanoeuvre their midfield opponents. By bringing this extra pace and energy to the middle of the park, Villa give themselves their best chance of taking all three points on Saturday.