McGinn out, Watkins in - Exclusive: Hutton names likely 'Strong' Villa starting XI tonight
Alan Hutton believes Dean Smith will hand both Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash their debuts for Aston Villa against Burton Albion.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa and Scotland star suggests that his old boss will name a strong line up as he looks to cement his starting XI for their return to Premier League action.
The Villans sat out the opening weekend of the top flight’s return due to Manchester City’s extended break, meaning they will kick off their 2020/21 campaign with Tuesday’s League Cup clash against Burton.
The Villans have added the likes of Watkins and Cash to their squad this season and the former Brentford striker scored in a pre-season friendly against Manchester United.
Hutton believes that the likes of John McGinn, who played in both of Scotland’s games over the international break, will be rested but that all the other first-team stars will be given the chance to gel in Smith’s first XI of the season.
“I think it will be 90 per cent of his full-strength side,” Hutton told Football Insider.
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“I don’t think John (McGinn) will play, I think Jack (Grealish) will play, I think Tyrone (Mings) will play, I think Ollie (Watkins) will play. It will be strong.
“Yes, with one eye on the following fixture against Sheffield United but obviously Jack and Tyrone were away with England, they didn’t really play with the other boys, they had friendlies. John played a lot of minutes so he’ll probably be rested.
“It’ll be strong, they’ll definitely, in my opinion, have enough to win comfortably but he’ll definitely have one eye on the next one so he’ll probably have foundations for his starting XI and then he’ll tweak it.
“You’re probably looking at one or two (out), John and whoever he plays at centre-half. I’m not sure on some of them, Elmohamady could play right-back.”
Hutton’s expected XI: Steer; Cash, Hause, Mings, Taylor; Nakamba, Douglas Luiz, Lansbury; Grealish, El Ghazi, Watkins
In other Aston Villa news, Alex McLeish has been left raving over a new “sensation” at Villa Park.