We welcome back football in the early kick off today as Villa head to The Molineux to face Wolves.
Dean Smith’s side had an unexpected break last weekend, after an outbreak of Coronavirus in the Newcastle United camp forced a postponement.
Whilst Villa’s early season form and results were emphatic, a recent slide see’s Smith needing to arrest a run of 4 defeats in 5.
Whilst few supporters would have reasonably expected the club to maintain it’s heady position at the summit of the division, Villa must not risk undoing those promising early performances either. Indeed, a suddenly leaky defence and a lack of cutting edge in front of goal are a worry.
Wolves host Villa in mixed form themselves and it will be interesting to see how the side with the best home defence comes up against a Villa side with strong away form.
Both sides are carrying injuries that impact their respective first elevens. Jimenez remains out for Wolves after surgery following a dreadful clash of heads recently. It leaves Nuno Espirito Santo without their ever present threat up front.
For Smith, the loss of Ross Barkley is increasingly apparent. Whilst the England international offers little in terms of defensive cover, his attacking threat and link up play with Jack Grealish has been sorely missed of late.
In short, this is an important test for Villa and Smith ahead of a trio of games versus Burnley, Crystal Palace and West Brom.
Given our recent slip ups against Brighton and West Ham (both 2-1), a draw would arguably be an acceptable away result. Suffer defeat, and an element of angst does inevitably begin to creep in for the first time this season.
On the other hand, a win would allow Smith a springboard to go into the festive fixtures with at least one free hit. The Villa boss won’t be oblivious either to the fact that a run of games against Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool (Cup), Spurs and Everton looms beyond this test against Wolves.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS
Aston Villa side to face Wolves:
Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett.
McGinn, Luiz, Ramsay, Traore, Grealish (C)
On The Bench:
Steer, Elmo, Guilbert, Nakamba, Hause, El Ghazi, Hourihane.
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