What a huge kick in the teeth Tuesday nigh was. For the umpteenth time, us Villas were given renewed hope and optimism of an upturn. This time due to yet another frenzied transfer window, with 8 in and 8 out, resulting in yet another major rebuilding (and the second within five months). Yet, with two debutants, Lansbury playing only his second game and Kodjia returning after five weeks, it was to put it mildly, bloody crap.
Our three new midfielders were overrun and outclassed by Dean Smith's well-drilled and together outfit. The loss of Jedinak was crucial as none of the three were able to 'hold' the midfield. I would wager that Lansbury is probably wondering why he is being deployed in that role and possibly regretting things already. Up front, Kodjia looked isolated and out of his depth. While both Green and Adomah occasionally looked to be at least some threat, the front three were disconnected and ineffectual.
So, I will attempt to predict what Bruce may do on Saturday tea time. I think that both full backs are now under threat and could easily be replaced. While Hutton will probably keep his place, Amavi may be due a stand down and Taylor could come in for his debut. The midfield cannot be set up like that again. I can see Bruce playing a 4-4-2 system at home but I'm convinced he will stick with 4-5-1 at Forest. Many won't like this but I can see Gardner coming in to a holding role, leaving Lansbury and Hourihane licence to attack. Sadly, I think Andre Green will make way, the front three being Hogan up top, Kodjia switching out wide and the last spot going to either Adomah, Grealish or Bjarnason.
I see it as:
Hutton Chester Baker Taylor
Lansbury Gardner Houlihane
Kodjia Hogan Bjarnason
Subs: Bunn, Bree, Amavi, Richards, Grealish, Adomah, Davis
Not necessarily my team but what I think Brucie will do.