Aston Villa expected 4-2-3-1 v Newcastle: Striker axed, Grealish start among four changes
By Amir Mir
Jordan Ayew could be dropped for Aston Villa’s home clash against Newcastle on Saturday evening.
Roberto Di Matteo is set to make four changes in the eagerly anticipated clash between the Championship big boys at Villa Park.
After playing a 3-5-2 formation in the stalemate at Ipswich last Saturday, the Italian could revert to his original 4-2-3-1 strategy at the weekend.
Summer signing Albert Adomah is expected to be given his full competitive debut in place of Ayew, who has not scored a league goal this term.
Right-back Micah Richards could make his first start of the season in place of Leandro Bacuna, with Aly Cissokho the likely candidate on the left in place of Jordan Amavi.
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Aaron Tshibola could be forced to be on the sub’s bench after returning from injury, with Di Matteo possibly starting with his preferred midfield pairing of Mile Jedinak and Ashley Westwood.
The club’s top performer this season Jack Grealish is likely to start despite being embroiled in yet another off the field controversy.
Jonathan Kodjia could lead the line, with the returning Ross McCormack most likely playing in behind in place of the injured Nathan Baker, with the Midlands club fielding an attack duo worth £27 million.
Di Matteo takes on Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle side who sit in third place with 15 points having won five out of their opening eight games.
Meanwhile, Villa sit 18th place with eight points to their name having drawn their previous three games.
This is the first time two Champions League winning managers will meet in the second tier of any league in Europe.
In other Aston Villa team news, the club’s chairman sends strong Twitter message to controversial star.