By Amir Mir
Aston Villa need to make three changes for their trip to promotion chasing Brighton on Friday night.
Steve Bruce is unbeaten in his first five games in charge of the Midlands giants, but his promotion credentials will be severely tested against the in-form Seagulls.
Villa are five points off the final play-off spot, which is currently being held by Leeds, and if they are to be serious challengers for the top six this season then they must pick up points on Friday.
Ross McCormack and Jack Grealish should be dropped, but Mile Jedinak will already be an absentee as confirmed by Bruce prior to the international break. All three played in Villa’s last fixture which they won 2-1 against Blackburn Rovers.
The three players who should come in are Aaron Tshibola, Jordan Ayew and Ashley Westwood.
Bruce will need to add strength to his midfield, therefore, he should opt to play a 4-5-1 formation with Gary Gardner, Tshibola and Westwood breaking up and creating play from the middle of the park.
Villa’s main threat will come from the counter, so Ayew’s pace and directness will be more important than playing Grealish on the left hand side.
Furthermore, Albert Adomah has the trickery, pace and experience to pick out the right pass for forward Jonathan Kodjia, who has scored five goals in his last five games.
Bruce must stick with the same backline of Jordan Amavi, Nathan Baker, James Chester and Alan Hutton as they have conceded only three goals in four games.
In other Aston Villa team news, supporters on Twitter are hoping to see the back of this senior figure as reports suggest he could leave in January.