Aston Villa will feel aggrieved that they didn’t manage to secure all three points against West Bromwich Albion last time out, so they’ll be desperate to make amends later on today.
The Villains have been completely redefined under Dean Smith in recent times, which has had a positive effect on their push for a play-off spot in the current campaign.
However, Aston Villa will welcome Stoke City to Villa Park in their next Championship fixture. The Potters are only a couple of places behind the Villains and are unbeaten in their last eight league games, so today’s result will have a huge say on the race for a play-off place.
With that in mind, Smith can end Stoke’s unbeaten run and boost his side’s play-off hopes if this DUO get the nod…
ANWAR EL GHAZI
Anwar El Ghazi struggled to reach his full potential under Steve Bruce as he looked like a waste of a signing, but things have changed dramatically under Smith as he’s now one of the club’s key first-team members.
Indeed, the winger put in arguably his best performance in the claret and blue last time out against the Baggies, as he was a class act, showed good skill throughout, and used his pace to cause problems, which helped him grab a brace.
So, Smith will be desperate to get an even better performance out of the Dutchman in a must-win game today.
John McGinn has proved to be one of the signings of the summer for the Villains having established himself as a fan favourite in such a short space of time, with four goals and six assists to his name.
The Scotsman was sensational once again in the Midlands derby last time out, but was unlucky not to find the back of the net as his long-range strike smacked the side of the post.
Therefore, with today’s fixture being vital in terms of the Villa’s play-off hopes, he will be Smith’s go-to man.