Chelsea play Aston Villa at the Bridge and we were glad to interview an Aston Villa fan podcast ‘Love of Paul McGrath.’
– What is your predicted lineup? (Also, any injuries and suspensions that may be costly for your team.)
While Villa have spent a lot of money in the most recent off season we have solidified the starting 11 as opposed to filing out the squad. Dean Smith I feel thinks that’s there is 15 Premier League players in his squad and h usually sticks to rotation of these. I think this team lines up similarly to how they did against United, 4-2-3-1 but there will be personnel changes as Freddie Guilbert our tough tackling RB will be suspended and also there is an injury doubt over Anwar El Ghazi at Right Wing. Smith will replace El Ghazi with Trezeguet but could go one of two ways with Guilbert, opting for the like for like in Ahmed ElMohamedy or going for the more unorthodox move of moving Esri Konsa from CB to the right and bringing Bjorn Engels back in to partner Mings in Defence.
– How similar could the game against United be for us? (Tactics wise, players to look out for.)
Villas tactics start and end with their midfield. It’s a very dynamic midfield whether it contains Nakamba as a blocker or Hourihane with a more all round skill set, stopping the midfield will be paramount. They are all athletic and get up and down the field none more so than McGinn who is the dynamo of this team. Obviously keeping an eye on Grealish is handy too and he is really blossoming into a top top Premier League player. Trust me he gets fouled a lot more than he dives and with Hourihane on the field to take advantage of set pieces this is something to watch out for. Look for Villa to play the ball and limit the long ball out route to Wesley as a last resort. Full back play is strong but with Guilbert being out I’m reluctant to predict how they will play this over lap without him on the right hand side.
– Should your away form counter our home form?
This is hard to say. Villa have shown up against the perennial top dogs this year leading against Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and United all to be pegged back to draw or lose those games. This team is learning how to win in a higher division so I’m loath to hang my hat on any type of form as such. What I can say is this year Villa have been gung ho from minute one to minute 75 and sometimes white line fever has set in against the bigger teams
– How do you think the game will go? (And predictions.)
I’m quietly confident in coming away with something. Granted the talent level is different from Derby last year, Villa nullified Lampards tactics last year in the championship. While we concede goals we are pretty imposing at the back. Knowing Tammy Abraham (should he start) and his tendencies hopefully will allow us to marshal him as we more than anyone know how good a striker he is. If he’s for sale give us first refusal please!!!. Gut feeling I think this is a 1-1 draw and both teams are happy.