Aston Villa expected 4-3-3 v Rotherham: Attacker axed in two changes
By Danny Wright
Aston Villa are expected to make two changes to the side that beat Bristol on Tuesday night.
Steve Bruce will make the alterations for their trip to bottom-club Rotherham in order to keep his side fresh after the 2-0 win over Lee Johnson’s side in midweek.
Jack Grealish is in line to return to the starting line-up to prove to Bruce that he can be relied on in important fixtures in the place of Andre Green, who is still learning the ropes at Villa Park and will be rested after starting the last two matches.
The 18-year-old is highly rated by Villa fans and the two academy lads are now fighting for a place in the starting line-up.
The other change sees Conor Hourihane return to the first 11 after missing the win over Derby at the weekend.
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However the former Barnsley midfielder made a goalscoring return to the team when he came off the bench against Bristol to score in the 59th minute to double Villa’s lead.
It was his first goal since joining the club in January for an undisclosed fee.
Sam Johnstone keeps his place in goal along with a back four of Alan Hutton, in-form James Chester, Nathan Baker and Neil Taylor.
Bruce will be looking to build a familiarity between his defenders and the key to this is consistently playing them together. They have kept two clean sheets in the last two games so it makes little sense to change them.
Hourihane joins fellow January recruit Henri Lansbury and Mile Jedinak in the midfield three.
Grealish returns on the flank with Albert Adomah playing on the opposite side.
Jonathan Kodjia retains his place in the side after scoring against his former club Bristol on Tuesday.
Bruce’s side could continue their recent resurgence with a win against the struggling Yorkshire club and overtake bitter rivals Birmingham City if they fail to beat Leeds on Friday.
If results go their way, Villa could put to bed any relegation fears they may have as they will sit in 13th place with 45 points.
In other Aston Villa news, Bruce says what they must change for their game against Rotherham.