Aston Villa Depth Chart, Week 4

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Fabicio Coloccini of Newcasle United fires in a shot during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at Sports Direct Arena on September 2, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Despite the lack of a club fixture this weekend, it was deemed prudent to compile a depth chart in order to reflect Aston Villa's activity at the transfer window. I would speculate that Paul Lambert is not the type to throw new signings directly into the first team, and so I would be very surprised to see any of Villa's new players in the starting eleven against Swansea City. However, if Christian Benteke scores a hat trick against Wales, who knows what Lambert will do? (Play him, probably. It was a rhetorical question, if anything.) On with the chart!

Forwards: Darren Bent remains undroppable, so he stays at the top of the teamsheet here. The real question is whether Gabriel Agbonlahor will be preferred over Lambert's big deadline day purchase, Belgian international Christian Benteke. I've chosen to give Gabby the edge for now, but it remains a possibility that Agbonlahor will be moved out onto the wing to accomodate all three attackers. It's a possibility I'm not in love with, but that's a discussion for another day. As for Benteke's fellow newcomer Jordan Bowery, he's likely to start his Aston Villa career in the reserves.

  • Darren Bent
  • Gabriel Agbonlahor
  • Christian Benteke
  • Andreas Weimann
    • Graham Burke (R)
    • Jordan Bowery (R)

Midfielders: In what came as a bit of a surprise to me, the only remaining Charles N'Zogbia fan, the winger was dropped to the bench in the draw against Newcastle. He came on after Karim El Ahmadi pulled up with an injury, putting in what I thought was a decent shift on the right side of a forward three with Agbonlahor and Bent (who was relatively anonymous.) Barry Bannan was surprisingly productive on the left side of midfield, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him there again against Swansea, particularly if Karim El Ahmadi can regain fitness in time. There still has been little word of El Ahmadi's return, but I'm hoping that means he's expected to play, as he'll surely be essential against Swansea City. While I'm sure Andrew is hoping that Ashley Westwood slots straight into the first team, I'm a bit reticent. Hope he progresses quickly, though.

LEFT:

RIGHT

  • Brett Holman
    • Charles N'Zogbia
    • Stephen Ireland (2)
      • Marc Albrighton (I)

CENTRE

Defenders: This is the one position where I will put a new signing in the first team without a moment's hesitation. Congratulations, Joe Bennett! You're an actual left back, and are therefore qualified to replace Nathan Baker (who is a centre back) and Eric Lichaj (who was terrible against Newcastle.) Richard Dunne remains out of commission, so Ron Vlaar and Ciaran Clark will likely be paired again in the centre of defence. Matthew Lowton is Villa's only real right back, since we're still not talking about Alan Hutton, and because he was actually rather good against Newcastle.

LEFT

RIGHT

  • Matthew Lowton
    • Eric Lichaj
    • Chris Herd (2)
      • Alan Hutton (R)

CENTRE

  • Ron Vlaar
  • Ciaran Clark
    • Nathan Baker
      • Derrick Williams (R)
        • Richard Dunne (I)

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan got his chance against Newcastle, and there's no denying he made the most of it. The number 1 shirt is his until further notice, despite Shay Given's contract, which we'll ask you not to look at directly.

KEY:

(I) = Injured

(P) = Possibility

(R) = Reserves

(2) = Secondary Position

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