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Can Aston Villa start to save the season against Swansea?

The results haven't been coming, and Aston Villa keep slipping down the table. A win against Swansea City is a must.

Give this guy a chance!
Give this guy a chance!
David Rogers/Getty Images

What can be said about this team? They just can't win. Villa were playing just as well as Chelsea until a terrible error deflated the team and led to a loss.  Now, the only team below the Villans in England's top flight is Sunderland, and the Black Cats have already made a managerial switch.

Although it's hard to say how long Tim Sherwood will last, it's clear that he's on the hot seat and needs to start picking up points. Fast.

Carles Gil and Jack Grealish returned to the starting lineup against the Blues last time out, and they should retain their starting spots against Swansea on Saturday. These two are tasked with providing the creative juices that make the side flow. Packing the midfield is something that must be done against a Swansea team that is known for hogging possession.

Going along those lines, it's not very sensible to use more than one striker, at least from the start. It also wouldn't be the game to revert back to a system with three central defenders. Using a midfield with five players is what Swansea will do, so Villa must do the same.

One positive for the Claret and Blues is that Swansea haven't won in the league since August either. This poor run of form sees Garry Monk's side in 14th place in the Premier League, and they are also without a win away from the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea aren't a side that lack a goal threat though, with both Bafetimbi Gomis and André Ayew scoring four goals apiece this year. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jonjo Shelvey are also more than capable of chipping in from midfield. Defensively they're solid, but around the middle of the pack, having shipped 11 goals, one more than they've scored. This match won't be a barnburner, and one goal could make all the difference.

Luckily for Aston Villa, Joleon Lescott probably won't start. Ciaran Clark should be fit, meaning the error-prone former England man can go back to the bench. Sherwood will have a decision to make at left back, as Kieran Richardson was decent against Chelsea in Jordan Amavi's usual spot. I think it's clear that Alan Hutton has won the job at right back, and we know Micah Richards will be starting at centre back.

Even though Brad Guzan committed yet another costly error, he can't be replaced. Quite frankly, Mark Bunn isn't up to the standard of Premier League football, and Guzan still gives Villa the best chance to win. Striker, however, is a different story.

Rudy Gestede doesn't offer a whole lot up top, and this is a match where the lone forward is going to have to get himself involved. As much as I'd like to see Ayew versus Ayew, I think Jordan starts the game on the bench for Villa. Sherwood should really give Libor Kozák a chance to lead the line.

Back to midfield, where this game will be won or lost, Villa need to use Carlos Sánchez. He was left out of the lineup against Chelsea, but should return. Ashley Westwood gets dropped, since he had a poor game. Let Jordan Veretout and Idrissa Gana Gueye complete the midfield, and bring Westwood off the bench.

Possible Lineups:

Swansea City (4-2-3-1):

Łukasz Fabiański; Kyle Naughton, Ashley Williams, Federico Fernández, Neil Taylor; Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Cork; Gylfi Sigurdsson, André Ayew, Jefferson Montero; Bafetimbi Gomis.

Aston Villa (4-5-1):

Brad Guzan; Alan Hutton, Micah Richards, Ciaran Clark, Jordan Amavi; Carles Gil, Jordan Veretout, Carlos Sánchez, Idrissa Gana, Jack Grealish; Libor Kozák.

Who would you start if you were Tim Sherwood? Let us know in the comments!

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