By Amir Mir
Under-fire Roberto Di Matteo should drop below-par Ashley Westwood from midfield and replace him with Aaron Tshibola in Aston Villa’s trip to Ipswich on Saturday afternoon.
Westwood does not provide the threatening passing ability to open up defences, nor the strength in midfield to nullify attacks to warrant a place in the starting XI.
Aston Villa’s draw against Brentford on Wednesday evening was an example of this, as Westwood provided no threat from the middle of the park in a disappointing display from Di Matteo’s men.
Therefore, Di Matteo should consider playing 21-year-old Tshibola in midfield, so the youngster can learn how to defend and attack in equal measures, alongside the calm head of Mile Jedinak.
Versatile defender James Chester should move to right-back in place of Ritchie De Laet who is an injury concern, as Micah Richards and Leandro Bacuna do not provide any confidence to put in a solid performance.
Nathan Baker should start at the heart of the club’s defence with captain Tommy Elphick, as Villa look to end a two-game sequence of losing points due to conceding late goals.
In attack the club’s top scorer with three goals Rudy Gestede should start up front, with Jordan Ayew starting on the left for the injury concern Jack Grealish and Albert Adomah on the right.
After his wonder maiden goal in the 1-1 against Brentford on Wednesday night, Jonathan Kodjia should start in behind Gestede as his strength, speed and ability will cause a threat to opposition defences.
In other Aston Villa team news, Roberto Di Matteo voices his concern at these three claret and blue players ahead of their trip to Ipswich.