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27th Dec, 2016 | 2:14pm

Aston Villa expected 4-2-3-1 v Leeds: Attacker axed in three changes

By Emma Sanders

Steve Bruce is expected to make three changes to the starting XI when Aston Villa take on fifth-placed Leeds on Thursday evening.

Jack Grealish, Jordan Ayew and Ashley Westwood are expected to replace attacker Ross McCormack, Mile Jedinak and Leandro Bacuna.

Grealish could return to the starting XI after coming on as a substitute in the second half during the victory against Burton Albion and he is expected to be joined by 25-year-old Ayew.

The midfielder made an impact when he came on in the Boxing Day victory so is expected to be handed his 21st Premier League appearance of the season.

Westwood could replace McCormack in a five-man midfield alongside Grealish, Ayew, Gary Gardner and Albert Adomah as Bruce’s side hope to keep Leeds’ youthful attackers quiet.

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The back four is expected to remain unchanged and centre-back duo Nathan Baker and James Chester should retain their places at centre-back.

Full-backs Jordan Amavi and Alan Hutton should also keep their places in the starting XI and Mark Bunn is the obvious first choice keeper.

Villa go into the clash on the back of two successive victories in the league but face an in-form Leeds side who have recorded five wins in their last six league matches.

Bruce’s side currently sit in 10th position in the Championship table.

In other Villa news, Ian Taylor delivered his verdict on Villa’s victory against Burton.