After limping off the pitch during the Second City Derby and aggravating a recurring ankle problem during the international break, our own Jonathan Kodjia is set to spend quite a while on the injury table - with the latest news breaking that the Ivorian hitman is set for another operation, his second of 2017.
This means it is highly likely that Jimmy Danger won’t see the pitch until we enter the new year. Even then, Villa will risk further trouble if they attempt to rush their star man back from his second critical injury of the year. They will have to be patient, and as Steve Bruce loves saying ‘box clever’ with Kodjia and his ankle.
Keinan Davis has enjoyed the limelight in Kodjia’s absence, but his high-tempo game has a downside in that the young man is visibly knackered after a run of games. Squad rotation is a must at this point, and Villa will need to find a solution to their striking troubles, as Scott Hogan & Gabby Agbonlahor remain injured.
What can Aston Villa do? Well, they can either keep pushing Davis until he is injured - or they can deploy Callum O’Hare up front. The latter lacks the physicality of Davis, though - despite having an arsenal of tricks up his sleeve. Deploying a strikerless formation could also be an idea, as Villa’s true strength comes through Albert Adomah, Robert Snodgrass and Josh Onomah on the flanks and in the middle. Reinforcing the centre with either Mile Jedinak or Henri Lansbury will ensure Josh can get forward while Adomah still runs rampant.
Whatever happens, Villa will need to be smarter than ever with their personnel. They’d rather not turn to Ross McCormack, but the transfer window is still a while off. Can they make it over the line intact? We’ll see.