Smith makes 10 changes, Grealish in new role as £15m man returns – Predicted Villa XI vs Fulham

Aston Villa return to Premier League action later this evening and they’ll be looking to continue their fantastic start to the new campaign with three points at Craven Cottage.

Dean Smith’s side are unbeaten from their first three matches in all competitions, Last week, they defeated Sheffield United and now they head to London to face top-flight newcomers and old foes Fulham.

Whilst in mid-week, a fringe XI thrashed Bristol City 3-0 in the EFL Cup to advance into the round of 16, so will the Villa boss make any changes today?

Here’s what we are predicting…

predicted aston villa xi vs fulham premier league - Smith makes 10 changes, Grealish in new role as £15m man returns - Predicted Villa XI vs Fulham

Smith could name almost an entirely new starting XI with only one player keeping their place from Thursday evening.

Between the sticks, summer signing Emi Martinez returns over Jed Steer whilst a usual back four of Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Matty Cash is also named.

£15m enforcer Douglas Luiz also starts at the expense of Marvelous Nakamba in defensive midfield although this time, the Brazilian sits behind John McGinn and skipper Jack Grealish, who perhaps surprisingly moves into the hole having played left-wing for the majority of the past 12 months or so.

The one name to remain could be the debutant from Ashton Gate, Bertrand Traore. The £19m summer arrival scored an outstanding goal and got some much-needed match fitness, he’s surely in line to start.

It means Trezeguet takes up a spot on the other wing with Ollie Watkins playing through the middle in the attack.

Therefore, there are no places for Conor Hourihane, Anwar El Ghazi, Keinan Davis or Henri Lansbury, who are all likely to settle for the bench.

AND in other news, Villans have to break club-record fee again to sign “incredible” transfer target…

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