After the weekend draw against Derby, fans’ attentions are now fully focused on the playoffs. Our likely opponents will be Middlesbrough barring a dramatic reversal for Boro on the final day.
With the two-legged semi-final scheduled for early next month, a potential starting eleven was suggested for the first game:
— Villa Views (@VillaViews_) April 29, 2018
This caused a lot of debate on Twitter as to who Steve Bruce should choose to start:
The only spot up for grabs for me is the defensive midfielder role. Whelan jedinak or bjarnasson
— Gavin Eaton (@TheRealCaptin78) April 29, 2018
Kodjia in for adomah, push grabban onto to the left and put kodjia up front, dependent on opposition I’d have bjarnason over whelan, (especially against Fulham), and onomah over hourihane, imo hourihane is a very average player, positioning terrible. >>>
— Patrick McNamee (@Mc_Namee_Avfc) April 29, 2018
Kodjia for Adomah. Bjarnason for Hourihane. Hourihane Adomah and Hogan to come off bench.
— John Land (@Johnlegardland) April 29, 2018
Think I would push grabban on to the left and Kodja through the middle.
Depending on who we play poss swap whelan for Thor. Shame we can’t see your bench.. because if Taylor is anywhere near it, and the possibility of him coming on is there that diminishes are chances greatly!
— nick flack (@flack1e) April 29, 2018
Jedinak in for Whelan- taller and more physical
— Jimbo?? (@JSBFIFA) April 29, 2018
Tbh I’d play Jedinak v Boro they very physical n play long throws etc
— carlton roberts (@carlton5385) April 29, 2018
I think adomahs been missing the past month or so, and I'd have grabban on left and start kodjia. Use adomah and onomah as impact players
— Scott Robbins (@Scotty_Villa) April 29, 2018
I would drop AA for JK and push LG wide. I would drop GW and bring in BB.
— Richard (@astonvillaeost) April 29, 2018
Possibly. But id still like Jedinak involved somewhere. 50/50 with whelan??? Back up for JT encase??? Hogan will be vying to make his name big again.
— Simon Goy (@si237g) April 29, 2018
Swap Grabban for Albert and play Kodjia
— LongOne ?? (@LongyReturns) April 29, 2018
There are a few talking points here. Albert Adomah’s poor recent form could allow Jonathan Kodjia to come back in, and for Grabban to be pushed out wide. In the middle there is some debate over Conor Hourihane’s inclusion with Josh Onomah having played in recent games.
Then there’s the debate over Birkir Bjarnason. The Icelandic midfielder has been out with a calf strain, but will likely be back in action for the playoff matches.
Although Glenn Whelan has played very well recently, some are also concerned with Boro’s physicality, and the selection of Mile Jedinak in midfield could be something worth considering.