Date: 23rd April 2017 at 11:06am
Written by:

By Danny Wright

Aston Villa have made five changes to their squad to face Birmingham at Villa Park on Sunday.

Steve Bruce has opted to axe under-fire Jordan Amavi, 23, from his line-up as Neil Taylor returns in a host of alterations to the side that lost 3-1 to Fulham on Monday.

The West Midlands club announced the news on their official Twitter account ahead of kick-off.

Alan Hutton, Henri Lansbury, Albert Adomah and Leandro Bacuna also return to the line-up.

James Bree, Gary Gardner and Tommy Elphick join Amavi on the sidelines as Gabriel Agbonlahor returns to the bench.

Villa will have to make do without their top goal scorer Jonathan Kodjia in the second-city derby, as he serves a one-match suspension for a red card he received against the Cottagers.

Sunday’s showdown will be Harry Redknapp’s first game since he returned to management after Gianfranco Zola resigned as Birmingham manager earlier this week.

Redknapp is tasked with helping Blues avoid relegation from the Championship but knows that results on Saturday did not go his way as Nottingham Forest picked up a win and Blackburn edged a draw with Wolves.

His side go into the Villa Park clash just two points clear of the bottom three.

Aston Villa no longer have a great deal to play for this season but are still gunning for top-half finish after what has been a rollercoaster of a campaign.

They sit 13th in the standings going into the derby and can only realistically hope to move up one place due to Preston’s superior goal difference.

In other Aston Villa news, James Chester has backed this 30-year-old to succeed.

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