By Amir Mir
Aston Villa should strengthen their under-performing midfield by dropping senior Championship duo Gary Gardner and Ashley Westwood against Brentford on Wednesday night.
Midfield enforcer Mile Jedinak should come into the starting XI, alongside the returning Aaron Tshibola who will be hoping to be fit following a groin injury.
The Midlands side have looked weak in midfield in their opening six matches of the league campaign, but experienced summer signing Jedinak should help them win those important duels in midfield.
Roberto Di Matteo should also consider a change in the back line with left-back Aly Cissokho making way for Jordan Amavi in defence.
Cissokho has looked rusty at back, with his decision making and one-on-one tackling an issue for the Frenchman.
Villa drew their previous game 2-2 against Nottingham Forest, but despite the attacking line producing 26 shots on goal, the players were not clinical enough with only eight on target.
Therefore, Di Matteo should consider rotating his attack by playing Rudy Gestede up-front, with Jonathan Kodjia in behind the target-man.
This means Ross McCormack will have to settle for a place on the bench, despite scoring at the weekend, with Jordan Ayew and Jack Grealish occupying the wide areas.
Additionally, Di Matteo should not risk goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini for the Brentford clash, after the Italian was replaced at half-time by Mark Bunn with an injury.
In other Aston Villa team news, Ian Holloway predicts the Midlands sides clash v Brentford, highlights Roberto Di Matteo’s key problem.