I think the two main issues we’re all thinking about are which team Dean Smith will pick and how he’s going to set them up against a very decent footballing side, in Swansea.
The first part is anyone’s guess, as we have a wealth of options in the middle and up front. The defence is another question, but I’d think the manager won’t be going with Jedinak in the centre, as he’ll surely be massively aware of how we’ve complained about the Aussie in that position.
Chester and Tuanzebe makes most sense,then.
Otherwise, I’m not convinced Smith will change much around, as he won’t have seen much or had time to work with a lot of the squad, because of international duties.
I think he’ll be more interested in seeing how players take his instructions on board, mostly, but even so, there’s still a myriad of choices. What we can be sure of, is that there won’t be any favouritism.
And it’s those instructions that will prove most interesting. Smith will have seen videos of us and he’s probably spotted a few problems, with our main one being a lack of intensity and pace.
Whoever gets picked, they’ll be playing for their shirts and I do expect a performance from them, especially when buoyed by a massive home crowd. But it’s that frailty in the defence that worries me.
Does that mean Smith will go all out attack to counter this? It’s a nice thought, but one that could see us punished, hence I don’t see it.
Without doubt, the manager will have had plenty of food for thought and I’m not going to try and guess the side or even our formation.
Which makes my prediction a pure guess.
Villa to win, 2-1, mainly because of our home advantage.
I really hope so anyway, as we need a result.