By Amir Mir
Aston Villa need to make changes to their midfield by dropping Ashley Westwood in place of Aaron Tshibola against Newcastle on Saturday evening.
Westwood fails to affect the game from the middle of the park, both defensively and offensively, which in tune affects Villa’s balance and performance during the game.
Therefore, Roberto Di Matteo should make four changes for the highly anticipated clash at Villa Park, with Jordan Ayew, Westwood, Leandro Bacuna and the injured Nathan Baker all missing out.
The Italian must change tactic by playing an attacking 4-5-1 formation, with star player Jack Grealish playing in behind the returning Ross McCormack.
The club’s £12 million signing is a 20 goal-a-season striker, as proven by his 21 goal haul for Fulham last season, but playing up top will increase his chances of adding to his two goal tally so far this term.
As number one choice right-back Ritchie De Laet is out for the rest of the season, Micah Richards should be considered as contender for a starting place.
Furthermore, Di Matteo must stick with the centre-back pairing of Tommy Elphick and James Chester, with Jordan Amavi continuing his comeback to form at left-back.
Mile Jedinak needs to start in midfield, as the Australian provides the much needed physical presence needed against what will be a strong Newcastle midfield.
Summer signing Albert Adomah must make his first start, as his natural ability on the right wing will provide the much needed service for the dangerous McCormack up front.
Additionally, Jonathan Kodjia should play on the left, as his all-round ability to drive forward by using his speed and strength will cause Rafa Benitez’ backline a number of problems.
In other Aston Villa team news, Stan Collymore sends a Twitter message to Jack Grealish following his latest controversy.