PREVIEW by Dominic Toner
Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo is set to make several changes for their cup fixture against Luton on Wednesday.
Villa face League Two proposition Luton in the EFL first-round clash and the manager has confirmed that they will make changes for the tie.
Di Matteo told the club’s official website that he will make ‘a few changes’ to the starting 11 that suffered a 1-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in the first game of the new Championship season.
With the Midlands club expected to depends upon a large squad this season due to the busy demands of Championship football, Di Matteo could even field a completely new starting 11 for the match against Luton.
New Aston Villa signing Pierluigi Gollini appears to be the number one this season but his understudy Mark Bunn may be given the cup matches to challenge for the number one spot.
Di Matteo could decide to field a completely different back four which shows the depth of talent he has at his disposal, with Jordan Amavi, Jores Okore, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards options to come in.
Fan-favourite Amavi is expected to regain his starting place in the side ahead of Aly Cissokho once he has fully recovered from a long-term layout through injury.
The Telegraph reported that Leeds are weighing up whether to offered Lescott a fresh start at Elland Road as they step up their pursuit of a new centre-back.
Arguably Di Matteo’s most difficult section this season will come in midfield and he may use the Luton game to get a better look at his options.
Duo Andre Green and Aaron Tshibola were both used substitutes in the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and could now have the chance to impress from the start.
Whilst Adama Traore and Carlos Sanchez will be hoping they can force their way into the manger’s plans after both players failed to make the match day squad for the first game of the season.
New £12million signing Ross McCormack and Championship-proven Rudy Gestede are set to be the preferred options in attack this season, but duo Jack Grealish and Libor Kozak could be handed the opportunity during the cup fixture.
Luton will be hoping to cause a cup upset against Villa and lead the League Two table at this very early stage of the season, following a 3-0 away victory over Plymouth.
In other Aston Villa team news, the club’s new signing McCormack wants to be the main set-piece taker.