Aston Villa haven’t quite taken to this Championship campaign as some expected and just a couple of months into the new season, they’ve already changed managers and slumped down the league.
Villa currently sit 20th in the table with just 11 points from 12 games which for their level, just isn’t good enough.
Even Steve Bruce struggled to get his side firing in his first game, a 1-1 home draw against Wolves which, on paper, doesn’t sound like a terrible result. But on the pitch, Villa were very lucky to come away with a point with Walter Zenga’s side very much on the front foot throughout.
But a trip to Berkshire this evening gives Villa the chance to go again. Reading will be no pushovers, though – they’ve started well and they go into this one eighth in the table.
However, despite this form, we’re tipping Aston Villa to come away from this one victorious. A win should be coming soon enough and under ‘Brucie’ – they must improve in the near future.
So with that in mind, here’s our Aston Villa XI to beat Reading at the Madejski…
Aston Villa goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has endured a mixed start to his career here in England.
Signed from Hellas Verona amidst interest from some of Serie A’s top sides over summer, Gollini has attracted criticism for some shaky performances. But he’s looking a lot more settled these days and he’ll be hoping to keep a clean sheet this evening.
With Micah Richards set to miss out on this one following a calf injury, Steve Bruce will have no choice but to bring Leandro Bacuna back into the first-team fold for the trip to Reading.
The former Groningen man has been in and out of the side in recent months but he’ll be hoping to impress the new gaffer in this one.
With Tommy Elphick set to miss out through injury, Nathan Baker could be handed a rare start as Villa scratch for defensive options.
He’s been struggling to get in the Villa first-team for a while now, but this is a great chance for him to show the new manager what he can do.
James Chester was a big £10million summer signing from West Brom this summer and it’s safe to say he’s still looking to find his best form in this Villans set-up.
His quality is proven – he played a big part in Wales’ EURO 2016 adventure and has the quality needed to help Villa climb the division.
Former Liverpool man Aly Cissokho is a player that offers so much power and pace on the left-hand side of the defence.
He’s quick, direct and get’s stuck in as often as possible. If Villa can get him firing and playing some good football, then he could be absolutely fantastic at his level.
Pacey winger Albert Adomah joined Villa this summer in a swap deal for Adama Traore, who went to Middlesbrough. He’s another man that is probably looking to find his best form still but he’s extremely effective at this level.
He’s done the whole promotion gig with Boro in the past and there is no doubt he can help his new side to success this time round.
Ashley Westwood came on as a second-half substitute for Mile Jedinak, who was pretty poor in the game against Wolves this weekend.
Westwood hasn’t blown supporters away himself yet this season but he’s a tidy player and could be the man Villa need in the middle of the park to do the simple things well.
One of Aston Villa’s best players this season has been Aaron Tshibola, who at times has shone far brighter than some of his team-mates.
He’s a big-hitting central midfielder who gives Villa plenty of muscle and pace in that area of the field.
Jordan Ayew was surprisingly dropped for the game against Wolves but we’re expecting to see him back in the first-team for the tie against Reading this evening.
He provides plenty of opportunities for team-mates and whilst he is more of a striker, he brings lots of width and directness to the Villa flank.
Goalscorer against Wolves, former Bristol City man Jonathan Kodjia is really beginning to find his feet at Villa Park.
He’s a striker perfectly suited to this division and in time, he will come very good for Villa. Big, strong and quick, if he gets the service from his wide men, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t go on to have a solid career in the Midlands.
With Ross McCormack misfiring, we’d like to see Rudy Gestede thrown into the mix for the game at the Madejski Stadium this evening.
He’s much more of a target-man and gives something different to this Villa side. It might be worth Bruce trying something different against a Reading team that will be no pushover this evening.