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Aston Villa returns to the Hawthorns for the first time since that exciting night they secured a spot in the championship play-off final, but a lot has changed in that moment.
Dean Smith’s side will face arch rivals West Brom in what is Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of the Baggies after he replaced Axed Slaven Bilic this week.
Prediction for tonight’s Midlands derby at the Hawthorns?
Burnley held the Villans to a 0-0 draw midweek despite all his dominance in front of goal, but the 49-year-old will be encouraged by the fact that several of his key players are returning from suspensions and injuries. . .
Here’s the XI we got to see in tonight’s Midlands derby …
There could be up to four changes on the side that attracted the Clarets on Thursday night.
Smith can welcome Matty Cash from suspension and returns straight in place of Ahmed Elmohamady, even as the veteran expertly substitutes for him, while we also got to see Ezri Konsa return from illness.
He will replace Kortney Hause as the only other alteration of the last four.
Douglas Luiz is another Villa star who is in line for an instant comeback after suspension, and he is ready to take over from Marvelous Nakamba to join John McGinn in central midfield.
The deadlock at Villa Park midweek was too early for Ross Barkley after injury, but we could see his presence back in the lineup here tonight to complete the engine room.
It means that Jack Grealish returns to his left position and Anwar El Ghazi also remains in the lineup, only this time he changes flank. As a result, Smith could swing his ax at Bertrand Traore, who has struggled to make an impact since his £ 19 million move out of Lyon.
the £ 60k per week winger will have to settle for the bench.
In attack, Ollie Watkins is sure to lead the line once again.
And in other news, Aston Villa must ditch Bjorn Engels in January transfer window.