clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sherwood must get the lineup right to beat Leicester City

New, comments

For Aston Villa to beat Leicester City, Tim Sherwood must put the best 11 players on the pitch.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Untimely injuries will limit Tim Sherwood's team selection for Aston Villa's trip to the East Midlands in a crucial clash against Leicester City. Idrissa Gana won't be available, and it looks like Jack Grealish and Adama Traoré will also miss out.

Questions also remain with regards to the backline. Micah Richards is all but guaranteed a place, and Jordan Amavi will start on the left. We could see Alan Hutton or Leandro Bacuna at right back, and there's a chance Joleon Lescott displaces Ciaran Clark from the other centre back position.

In attack, one thing is certain. Scott Sinclair absolutely must start. This team is struggling mightily for goals at the moment, and he's a player that's shown the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. Gabby Agbonlahor returns from injury and is available for selection, and Libor Kozák and Jordan Ayew offer two different options with their skill sets. Rudy Gestede has been preferred at striker so far, but hasn't showed enough, in my opinion, to warrant another start.

Leicester City are a very dangerous team. So far, in four Premier League matches, they've collected eight points. They also haven't lost since the end of April. The Foxes have scored eight goals, four coming from Algerian Riyad Mahrez. Former Villan Marc Albrighton has provided three assists, and a goal to go with. While their wingers and strikers are potent, the defence is susceptible, and their central midfield lacks the class to keep them in the Champions League places for too much longer.

Due to this weakness, it's important that Carles Gil starts. Playing him on the right with freedom to drift inwards, and Sinclair on the left allows for a dynamic attack. A single striker should be used, regardless of who Sherwood chooses. I'm picking Ayew.

The midfield trio will be paramount to this team's success. Without Gana, Jordan Veretout is forced into the fray, and will play with Ashley Westwood and Carlos Sánchez. They need to be at their best if Villa want to come away with even a point.

At the back, I'd give Lescott a shot. Clark has been decent, but I don't think Lescott was brought in to ride the bench. Hutton is the safer choice from a defensive perspective, and as we saw last time out, he still offers something going forward.

Possible lineups:

Aston Villa (4-3-3):

Brad Guzan; Alan Hutton, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Jordan Amavi; Carlos Sánchez, Ashley Westwood, Jordan Veretout; Carles Gil, Jordan Ayew, Scott Sinclair.

Leicester City: (4-4-2):

Kasper Schmeichel; Ritchie de Laet, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan, Jeff Schlupp; Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater, Andy King, Marc Albrighton; Jamie Vardy, Shijni Okazaki.

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

Not a member? Join 7500 to Holte and start commenting | Follow @7500toHolte on Twitter