Smith makes seven changes, Chester starts: Aston Villa’s predicted XI to face Brighton – opinion

Aston Villa’s 6-1 loss against Manchester City was nothing short of a humiliation, and the performance was not good enough – no matter who it was against.

Therefore, Dean Smith will likely be demanding a response from his players, as Villa aim to get themselves back out of the relegation zone.

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Considering how poor the showing was in that game, it would not be surprising to see various changes in the personnel stepping onto the pitch for the team.

With that in mind, FFC has predicted the XI that Smith will deploy against Brighton, which includes a massive seven changes from the Man City loss.

Aston Villa PXI to face Brighton Hove Albion 240x300 - Smith makes seven changes, Chester starts: Aston Villa's predicted XI to face Brighton - opinion

Smith has spoken glowingly about Pepe Reina ahead of the game, indicating that the Spaniard could replace Orjan Nyland between the sticks for this game.

Tyrone Mings is the only member of the defence to maintain his place in the back three, with Kortney Hause and Ezri Konsa both being dropped.

The first of the departees is replaced by James Chester, whose experience could prove to be useful considering the situation, while Bjorn Engels comes in for the latter, having been confirmed as available by The Birmingham Mail.

There is a change of wing-back on both flanks, with Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady coming out for Matt Targett and Frederic Guilbert.

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Jack Grealish has been dropped back into midfield for this game. He was wasted playing as a striker against Man City while Villa’s midfield struggled to get any hold on the game, failing to take any shots between them.

Meanwhile, Conor Hourihane was the only one to make a key pass. Brighton is a very different challenge but Smith could be tempted to ask Grealish to grab the game by the scruff of the neck from the middle of the park.

Danny Drinkwater is given another chance in the midfield, despite being slated for his debut performance, with Marvelous Nakamba slotting in beside him.

In a way, Trezeguet and Anwar El Ghazi linked up for Villa’s only goal against City, with the former winning a penalty and the latter converting it. They could now work together as strikers after Trezeguet earned respect for his cameo appearance.

Meanwhile, Villa may be seriously regretting the blunder they made during the summer transfer window.

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