Brentford vs Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

I am taking “No news” as “Good news” when it comes to our visit to Brentford this Sunday.

By that I mean that the Villa team’s lack of transparency about John McGinn’s status suggests the team expects him to start.  That’s almost as good as the news that Steven Gerrard will be back, post COVID, behind the bench.  The “gaffer” will get to decide who makes room and the dubious honor of passing on the bad news.  That will almost certainly be one of Sanson, Buendia, and Ings.

Unless Gerrard sees something that other observers missed, it is likely to be Ings.  Buendia has the goal he scored in the first leg with Brentford in his favor and Sanson, showed his class until he ran out of steam in the second half against Chelsea.

Tyrone Mings will miss the game because of suspension – his season tally reached five against Chelsea.  This will give either Hause or Tuanzebe the opportunity to get some first-team time.  The reported likelihood of Chelsea wanting to sell Tuanzebe in January, suggest he’s not a good choice, so Kortney will likely get the nod.

Brentford Manager, Thomas Frank, must think wistfully back to September when he had a full line-up to choose from before a rash of injuries and COVID, has seriously depleted his shallow depth chart with the Danish international Nørgaard the hardest to replace.

Still, Brentford fans are a lusty, and faithful, bunch who will give it their all to inspire the home team.  They did that on Wednesday when they held Man City to one goal over 90 minutes.  Our Villans must do their utmost to keep a clean sheet, since two goals is a lot to score against this disciplined defensive team.

With Brentford having less time to recover from their Man City game, I think scoring the first goal will help us repeat what we did against Norwich. Thank you very much.

Prediction: Brentford 0, Aston Villa 2

UTV.

Likely Starting xi:

Aston Villa (4,3,3): Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Hause, Targett, McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey, Sanson, Watkins, Buendía

Brentford (3,5,2): Fernandez, Sorensen, Jansson, Pinnock, Jensen, Ghoddos, Canos, Baptiste, Thompson, Mbeumo, Toney

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