Tuanzebe and Grealish to start – Predicted 4-4-1-1 Aston Villa line-up to face Bolton Wanderers


Dean Smith

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.

Team News

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

Formation: 4-4-1-1

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)

James Chester 1

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)

Jack Grealish

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.

Read More: Three players Dean Smith should bring to Aston Villa in January – including this 21-year-old Scottish ace

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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