Aston Villa will entertain Barnsley at Villa Park on Saturday at the back of three successive league victories. Steve Bruce’s men are currently occupying fourth place in the English Championship standings and are well on their way to secure a playoff spot at the end of the season. However, the Villans are just five points behind second-placed Derby County and could close the gap to them if they can secure maximum points versus Barnsley this weekend.
The Tykes, on the other end, are currently fighting to save themselves from a potential relegation at the end of the season. They are in dire need to get some victories under their belt in the coming weeks to steer clear of relegation trouble and ensure their life on the second tier of English football for another year. Paul Heckingbottom’s men are currently in 19th place in the English Championship table, just two points above the drop zone. An upset at Villa Park could go a long way in their quest to avoid the drop this season.
The recent history of the fixture doesn’t make a good reading for the West Midlands club as they have just won once in their last four fixtures versus Barnsley. However, their last victory came away at the Oakwell in a 3-0 demolition of the Tykes earlier this season. Steve Bruce is expected to stick with his favoured 4-1-4-1 formation and might hand Bjarnason a start following Glenn Whelan’s injury away at Nottingham Forest.
4-1-4-1 Aston Villa Predicted Lineup To Face Barnsley
Sam Johnstone will start in goal for Villa and might be shielded by a back four of James Chester and John Terry in central defence while Ahmed Elmohamady plays at right-back and Alan Hutton operates on the left side of the backline.
The Villans defence has kept three clean sheets in a row in the league and Steve Bruce will be hoping that his back four can keep the Barnsley attack at bay on Saturday.
Birkir Bjarnason is expected to be deployed as a deep-lying holding midfielder in absence of Glenn Whelan while Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane operate in front of the Icelandic midfielder at the centre of the park.
The club’s top scorer Albert Adomah will start on the left flank and look to add to his goal tally of 12 goals in this campaign. Robert Snodgrass will look to cut in on his stronger left foot and create some chances while operating on the right side of the midfield.
Scott Hogan is expected to the lead the lines for the Villans once again up top.