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Preview: Villa head to high-flying Foxes in search of win

Aston Villa head to Leicester tomorrow in a quasi-derby match. Will Tim Sherwood go three at the back?

Clive Mason/Getty Images

It’s time for Aston Villa again! Yay! I’m writing this three hours after it was supposed to be posted, so we’ll cut to the chase.

What to know about Aston Villa

It’s kind of a derby, so that means Gabby Agbonlahor is going to play, and maybe he won’t look like a complete buffoon on the pitch.

Jack Grealish, Adama Traoré and Idrissa Gueye are all injury doubts for Villa, and there’s been some chatter of the Claret and Blues going three at the back this week, with Tim Sherwood himself talking out about it.

Given the personnel Villa have on the sidelines, and the ones they have fit, moving to a 5-3-2 could make a hell of a lot of sense this week — letting Jordan Amavi and Leandro Bacuna create as wing-backs with playmakers out may prove to be Villa’s preferred tactic. Maybe sit Carles Gil in the playmaking role, behind Scott Sinclair and Gabby, with Carlos Sánchez and Ashley Westwood sitting in midfield?

Also: that Scott Sinclair guy could be a big player for us again. He’s in form.

Joleon Lescott could be making his Villa début, as could Tiago Ilori, which is a neat thing to have going on.

It’s another week for Villa to start to try and forge an identity, so it’s another week where it’s tough to say what Tactics Tim’ll do.

What to know about Leicester City

F*ck Leicester.

Nah, not really. I really like their squad, and think it’s a pretty solid one. They haven’t been quite as good as their points haul have suggested, but they’ve made a really bright start to the season. Riyad Mahrez is probably the player to watch, but there’s a lot of solid attacking threats in their side that make them pretty capable.

A point away from home here would be pretty nice, all things considered, even if it isn’t Tim Sherwood’s style to play for one.

Obviously, Villa fans will focus on Marc Albrighton, who’s been having a resurgence early on this season. There was always a good player there, and perhaps Claudio Ranieri has found it in the East Midlands.

They aren’t great defensively though, so it’ll be interesting to see if this game ends up an open affair.

The odds

Bovada: Leicester 5/6, Villa 63/20, Draw 27/10
Paddy Power: Leicester 5/6, Villa 10/3, Draw 13/5
SkyBet: Leicester 10/11, Villa 3/1, Draw 5/2

The prediction

Statistically speaking this year, there’s not much to separate Villa’s performances from Leicester’s, despite the four-point gap between the two sides — and I think we’ll see that at the King Power on Sunday in what turns out to be a pretty open game.

Villa have been solid defensively at limiting chances this year, and they’ll create a few more — a nice draw looks in order.

Leicester City 1, Aston Villa 1