Aston Villa will need to improve almost immediately if they are to stand any chance of securing a play-off spot in the current campaign.
The Villains have looked very impressive under the guidance of Dean Smith, but a lapse in concentration against Stoke City and Leeds United has halted their progress recently.
Of course, with the transfer window opening next month and the Christmas period here, Dean Smith will have his sights set on bringing in a few signings to iron over any underlying issues.
Sadly, injuries and departures will inevitably have an effect on proceedings, but if all the negative factors weren’t a thing, here’s a look at what Aston Villa’s ideal Xmas XI would look like…
ASTON VILLA’S IDEAL XMAS XI
Orjan Nyland has been a huge disappointment in the current campaign having made a number of mistakes, so Smith must look to firm up his interest in the impressive Karl Darlow, who has been linked with a move to Villa Park.
Indeed, Alan Hutton has been one of the unsung heroes so far this season as he always manages to keep the opposition under control and puts in match-saving tackles. Meanwhile, Neil Taylor has been extremely inconsistent, which has opened the door for the Midlands club to bring in Matt Targett, who helped Fulham secure promotion.
James Chester raised a few concerns towards the start of the season with his performances, but he has turned things around since Smith took charge as a rock at the back. And, with a central defender desperately required, Villa should make use of John Terry’s close links to Chelsea by luring Wales international Ethan Ampadu to the club.
Importantly, Conor Hourihane has made the middle of midfield his own in the current campaign, as he continues to pull the strings. Also, John McGinn has proved to be one of the signings of the summer in English football, with goals and assists being a guarantee when he’s in the side.
Lastly, Villa will be hoping to fend off any approach for Jack Grealish, who has really started to hit top form in recent times, as he will play a huge part in their campaign. And, all eyes will be on Tammy Abraham as the club’s promotion chances all depend on whether he manages to build on his impressive goals tally.
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