Predicted Aston Villa line-up to face Bolton Wanderers
Aston Villa will face Bolton Wanderers on Friday night at Villa Park in what will be new manager Dean Smith’s fourth match in charge.
The former Brentford boss, having taken over from Steve Bruce, led the Villans to a 1-0 victory over Swansea City in his first game at the helm. However, his team then suffered back to back defeats – a 2-1 loss to Norwich City, followed by a 1-0 away defeat at QPR.
The Midlands outfit currently find themselves 17th in the table and if they are to start moving up the Championship standings, nothing less than a victory will do this week.
Icelandic international Birkir Bjarnason is set to miss out after picking up a groin injury at Loftus Road this weekend. Albert Adomah is also likely to be absent, having not featured due to a knee problem.
Keinan Davis is ruled out as he continues his recovery from an operation he underwent to cure a long-term groin problem.
Here’s how Aston Villa could take the field against the 19th placed Bolton on Friday;
Manager: Dean Smith
Orjan Nyland (GK)
The Norwegian goalkeeper hasn’t exactly been convincing between the sticks for the Midlands’ club in his debut campaign. High time that he steps up and starts performing.
Alan Hutton (RB)
The veteran defender has started all games under Smith at right-back and should continue to do so when Bolton come visiting this Friday night.
Axel Tuanzebe (CB)
Having featured most of the season at right-back, the on-loan Manchester United defender has been used in the heart of the defence by the new manager in the last three games. No changes expected here.
James Chester (CB)
The club captain is expected to partner and guide the young Tuanzebe at the centre of the backline against Bolton.
Neil Taylor (LB)
The 29-year-old Welsh international is back into the scheme of things under the new manager, after being dropped from the matchday squad for four league games in a row by Bruce. Should hold on to his spot at left-back.
Ahmed Elmohamady (RM)
The versatile Egyptian has been preferred on the right flank by Smith in all his three games in charge and that is unlikely to change for Friday night’s encounter.
Glenn Whelan (CM)
With Bjarnason set to miss out with an injury, his place in the starting XI will most likely be taken up by 34-year-old Glenn Whelan, who replaced him against QPR last weekend.
John McGinn (CM)
The Scotland international has established himself as a mainstay in this Villa side. Has the ability to impact the game in both halves of the pitch and should be retained in the middle of the park.
Yannick Bolasie (LM)
On the left side of the midfield, a change is on the cards with Yannick Bolasie likely to come in for Jonathan Kodija. Bolasie looked bright in his brief cameo against QPR and should receive a start.
Jack Grealish (CAM)
The Englishman is a key player for the Midlands’ outfit and in all likelihood should continue to operate in the hole behind the main striker.
Tammy Abraham (ST)
Spearheading the attack for Villa against Bolton will be on-loan Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who has scored four goals in nine Championship appearances so far.
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Aston Villa Opinion: Why the Villans should sign Bruno Andrade?
According to a report from the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are interested in Lincoln City forward Bruno Andrade.
The Portuguese, 25, was one of Lincoln City’s top performers as they stormed to the League Two title, scoring ten goals while providing a further six assists under manager Danny Cowley. His performances have apparently attracted attention from Aston Villa and Portsmouth, who are up against Sunderland in the League One playoff semi-finals.
Aston Villa are just one game away from returning to the Premier League after beating West Brom in the Championship play-off semi-final on Tuesday. They will face Derby County in the playoff finals after the Rams beat Leeds United at Elland Road last night.
Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham have been the undisputed stars of this Villa side, but Dean Smith will likely be without the latter next season. Abraham scored 26 goals in 39 games for the Midlands outfit and scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out against West Brom to send his team to Wembley.
Now, with the 21-year-old is expected to return to Chelsea at the end of his loan spell, Dean Smith will have to be in the market for a prolific forward who can replace Abraham at the Villa Park next season. Thus, signing Bruno Andrade would make complete sense, but he shouldn’t be the only forward that walks in from the front door at Aston Villa.
Andrade is blessed with searing pace, power and natural athleticism that helps him beat his man with the utmost ease. The left winger is an unpredictable customer, unplayable on his day and frustrating on the other when things are not going his way. But he isn’t the one to give up easily as the 25-year-old works extremely hard off the ball and helps his team defensively when required.
The Portuguese is someone who can not only bury chances at will but is also capable of creating chances as well. The former OPR starlet is nippy, tricky and has the X-factor with which he can destroy the opposition. Andrade would add some new life to the Villa attack, whilst being an upgrade over Albert Adomah.
At 25, Andrade is about to enter the prime years of his career. He matured during his time in the non-league and has stepped up to League Two like a duck to water.
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If the Portuguese continues to progress at this pace, he could turn out to be a signing of real significance for Dean Smith’s Villa.
Aston Villa are far better off without signing this 25-year-old wing machine and this is why they should avoid it
Aston Villa Opinion: Signing League Two star Bruno Andrade would make little sense for the Lions
According to Lincolnshire Live, Aston Villa are weighing up a move for Lincoln City star Bruno Andrade, with League One outfit Portsmouth also keen on securing the services of the 25-year-old Portuguese winger.
Andrade is not the only Lincoln City player to have attracted interest from higher league clubs though, with 18-year-old midfielder Ellis Chapman also bring tracked by Southampton, Wigan Athletic and Derby County. (h/t Lincolnshire Live)
Bruno Andrade was one of the stars of Lincoln City’s promotion-winning League Two campaign, as the Portuguese bagged 10 goals and 6 assists from a left-wing position to fire the Imps into the League One as the champions of the fouth division.
The 25-year-old former QRP youth product made 42 appearances for Lincoln and was arguably their most impressive performer this past season.
The news of Aston Villa’s links with Bruno Andrade comes as a big shock to the fans at Villa Park given that the Lions are already in the finals of the promotion-playoffs after beating West Brom in the semi-finals on penalties.
Villa are set to face Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the final at Wembley towards the end of the month and there is every chance that they could be in the Premier League next season.
Andrade put in a string of impressive performances for the Imps in the recently-concluded season and proved that he is certainly head and shoulders above League Two standards.
However, it would be a massive ask for him to make a triple jump up to the Premier League next season, or a double for that matter to the Championship if Villa lose in the playoff finals.
The difference in the level of intensity and quality between League Two and the Championship or the Premier League is massive and Villa’s links with the player look quite inexplicable on paper.
Villa are on the verge of making a much-anticipated return to the top-flight and signing a player like Andrade would make little sense. Even if they have seen something extraordinary in the Portuguese winger, the Lions would be better off looking at other options in the market.
Interestingly, Andrade has hardly ever played in the Championship or the Premier League, barring a 10-minute cameo for QPR in the top-flight seven years back. It would be hard to expect a player who has plied his trade in the lower divisions of English football for his entire career to make the step up to the Premier League all off a sudden, no matter how good he is.
The player in question was in the fifth tier with Boreham Wood and Woking a couple of seasons back and has only recently shot to prominence in League Two, although he had mediocre spells with Wycombe Wanderers and Stevenage in the fourth-tier earlier in his career.
Not only that, Andrade is already 25 and he doesn’t fall in the bracket of a promising youngster, so Villa’s interest in the player goes against all logic and reason.
Indeed, Villa need to bring in some quality players this summer if they manage to secure promotion to the Premier League. The Lions can certainly do with a few additions to their wide options but they are not in a dire crisis at the moment which necessitates looking at players in League Two.
On the contrary, Villa should prioritise striking a permanent deal for Lille winger Anwar El Ghazi, who has played an important role in the promotion push. Plus, they have players like Andre Green and Albert Adomah, who are not world-beaters but certainly better than Bruno Andrade.
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If the Lions are really serious about signing new players in the summer, they should look at options who can be an upgrade on what they already have in their ranks. Bruno Andrade apparently doesn’t fall in that category and the fans have every reason to expect a lot more ambition from the club in the transfer window.
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Aston Villa Opinion: Villa must keep Tammy Abraham beyond the summer
The report suggests that Villa are extremely keen on holding onto their man beyond the current season as he’s done well for them since making the switch.
It’s has been suggested that Dean Smith’s side are willing to pay up to £25m for the youngster’s permanent services if they’re able to achieve Premier League promotion.
While that’s what they’ve been striving for since the start of the season, Tammy has certainly grown into a key figure and fans’ favourite at Villa Park.
He was made the first-choice striker right from the opening weeks of the campaign. Without his exceptional displays in the central striker’s role, Villa couldn’t have dreamt of reaching the playoffs, especially considering that they weren’t even in the top half of the championship table around Christmas.
Over the whole season though, if there’s one player who deserved all the accolades they’re currently receiving, it’s been Tammy. His 25 league goals in the Villa shirt have been vital in their way to the current position. His finishing and movement in front of goal have been absolutely sublime.
Finding strikers that can score more than 20 goals in a season is not an easy task and it’s no surprise that Villa are keen on signing him permanently despite the hefty price-tag. With Premier League football still very much on the horizon at Villa Park, it will be essential for them to hold onto Abraham.
His goals will prove to be extremely important to them next season, especially if they’re caught in a relaxation dogfight in the Premier League. His know-how and experience of the speedy English style will help Villa settle back to life in the big league quickly.
While the fans will also be hopeful that their star man stays beyond the summer, his parent club Chelsea will definitely have other ideas considering their current predicament. With a transfer ban seemingly looming over their heads, selling any players, let alone Tammy, would be a massive blunder.
Also, with Eden Hazard’s future still hanging in the balance, it would be smart on their part to try and find a replacement who can continue the flow of goals from within. They wouldn’t have to look very far because Tammy Abraham is the ideal talisman for this Chelsea side.
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While a lot of factors could come into play with regard to this transfer, Aston Villa fans will be hopeful that the staff are able to convince him to sign for them. At the same time, an aspiring English striker would certainly want to make a name for himself at a big club like Chelsea and it would be a surprise to see him pass this chance up.
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