Smith makes 10 changes, £140k-p/w star dropped & 22y/o starts: Predicted Villa XI v Bristol City

Aston Villa’s congested schedule continues with a midweek trip to the south-west as Dean Smith’s side look to advance in the EFL Cup.

They’ll face in-form Championship outfit Bristol City later this evening at Ashton Gate but will the 49-year-old make any changes for the game?

The Midlanders head into this one on the back of a 1-0 victory over ten-man Sheffield United on Monday night.

Here’s the lineup we think Smith could run with tonight…

predicted aston villa xi vs bristol city efl cup - Smith makes 10 changes, £140k-p/w star dropped & 22y/o starts: Predicted Villa XI v Bristol City

We’re expecting there to be pretty much an entirely different XI now that the Premier League is fully underway with Tyrone Mings the only player keeping his place from earlier in the week.

Penalty-saving hero Emi Martinez is rested with Orjan Nyland being handed the ‘cup’ keeper gig whilst Tom Heaton is out through injury.

In defence, we could see a return for Frederic Guilbert at right-back with Kourtney Hause partnering the 6 foot 5 English colossus in the middle. Neil Taylor played in the Burton victory and should feature here again.

Marvelous Nakamba is also in line for a start in favour of Douglas Luiz in that defensive midfield position. Smith has solid depth options to rotate here.

Just like the last round, he could be joined by Henri Lansbury and young academy starlet Jacob Ramsey, who is very highly-rated at Villa.

Sean Kimberley believes “he will have a bright future in the game” but only “if he continues to match his undoubted technical ability and eye for a goal with the desire and energy to reach the next level.”

Skipper Jack Grealish won’t be featuring this time around. The home-grown playmaker signed a new £140k-per-week contract earlier this month but will earn a rest in Bristol.

Instead, Anwar El Ghazi is gifted a rare start whilst there could even be a debut for latest summer signing Bertrand Traore.

In attack, 22-year-old striker Keinan Davis could be handed the reigns with Ollie Watkins also being rested.

It means there’s no place for Trezeguet, Conor Hourihane or Ahmed Elmohamady.

AND in other news, Aston Villa could land a speed demon in £36.5m talent…

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