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Aston Villa expected 4-5-1 v Birmingham: Striker axed

By Amir Mir

Aston Villa could make one change to their side when they visit St Andrews on Sunday afternoon to take on second City rivals Birmingham.

Steve Bruce’s men have recorded back-to-back wins against Reading and Fulham leading up this fixture, with their opponents winning their last two home fixtures.

Winger Albert Adomah might come into the starting XI for striker Rudy Gestede, in what could be the only change to the team that beat Fulham 1-0 in their last fixture.

Promotion expert Bruce is likely to field a 4-5-1 formation, which will allow him to bulk up the midfield, as that tactic has worked in his previous two games.

In-form forward Jonathan Kodjia will most likely lead the line, as the Ivory Coast international has scored in all three games Bruce has managed since taking over.

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Jordan Ayew, who has played a pivotal part in Villa’s success in their last two games could start on the left, with Adomah occupying the other flank.

Bruce could then continue with the midfield trio of Gary Gardner, Mile Jedinak and Leandro Bacuna, who will possibly be picked to stifle their opponents in the middle of the park.

In defence there is the likelihood that no changes are made, as Jordan Amavi, Nathan Baker, James Chester and Alan Hutton, will be looking to register back-to-back clean sheets.

The two sides last met last season, when then-Premier League outfit Villa defeated their rivals 1-0 at Villa Park in a League Cup fixture.

However, at this moment in time the Blues are one place below a play-off place, six points ahead of Villa, who are 16th with 17 points.

In other Aston Villa team news, this senior Birmingham City man has admitted to closely following the Villa Park club.