Bartley and Taylor omitted: Best combined Leeds and Aston Villa XI
COMMENT By Will Butcher
Leeds are set to travel south to take on Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa as they look to consolidate their play off place, but who makes their best combined XI?
Defensive duo Kyle Bartley and Charlie Taylor are two notable omissions from the side due to the eye-catching form of in-demand left-back Jordan Amavi and Wales international James Chester.
Amavi, 22, has starred in claret and blue and has reportedly caught the eye of multiple top-flight clubs with owner Tony Xia claiming he had rejected a £25million bid for the Frenchman.
Meanwhile, Euro 2016 semi-finalist Chester has been in top form at the heart of the Villa defence and played a pivotal role in keeping six clean sheets in 22 league and cup appearances.
The two former Premier League sides boast a wealth of talent in their squads and here is Football Insider’s best combined XI.
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Italian Pierluigi Gollini has been in dismal form for the Midlands giants this season, even making a high-profile mistake against Leeds in the reverse fixture which Villa lost 2-0.
Despite not being in the best of form himself, ex-England international Rob Green is preferred between the sticks.
Amavi slots in at left-back, while unsung Leeds hero Luke Ayling would be chosen over Alan Hutton who has lacked any sort of consistency on the right side of Villa’s defence.
Partnering Chester would be Sweden international Pontus Jansson, who has starred for Leeds and gained plaudits among the fans.
Australia captain Mile Jedinak has shown class and maturity for Villa and would partner the Yorkshire giants’ captain Liam Bridcutt in the middle of the park.
A rejuvenated Kemar Roofe profited on Gollini’s mistake at Elland Road earlier this month, and he would start on the right after a number of fine displays in recent outings.
Speed merchant Albert Adomah is Villa’s only recognised winger, and he would start on the left after scoring once and providing five assists in 16 Championship games.
Both side’s top scorers would form a formidable partnership up front. New Zealand international Chris Wood has found the back of the net 14 times in 26 games, while £15million summer signing Kodjia has struck eight times.
A win for Leeds will see them go third, as Reading and Huddersfield do not play until the weekend.
In other Leeds news, this first-team ace will make his return from injury against Rotherham.