Should Tim Sherwood consider playing three at the back after the international break?

Tim Sherwood Press Conference Smiling 12/02/2014

Aston Villa now have an abundance of centre backs at their disposal.

Aston Villa return to Premier League action this weekend, with Tim Sherwood taking his side to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

With the international break meaning Premier League football has been on hold, Sherwood will be keen to kick start Villa's season with a good result against the in-form Foxes.

Sherwood managed to bring in two new centre backs on deadline day, with Joleon Lescott and Tiago Ilori both arriving - and after the 2-2 draw against Sunderland before the break, many Villa fans have wondered whether a tactical change could be on the horizon.


The graphic shows how Villa could line up if Sherwood chooses to adapt his tactics to feature a 3-4-1-2 system.

Lescott could form a solid back three alongside Ciaran Clark and Micah Richards, with Brad Guzan retaining his place between the sticks.

At wing back, Sherwood could find ideal roles for Jordan Amavi and Leandro Bacuna. Both players have played at full back this season, but are certainly attack-minded.

By pushing Amavi and Bacuna slightly further forward - and having three centre backs in place behind them - they would have more of a licence to make an impact in the final third.

The energetic pairing of Ashley Westwood and Idrissa Gueye would give Villa a presence in central midfield, whilst allowing Jack Grealish to roam as an attacking midfielder - as Sherwood did towards the end of last season - would give Villa a creative spark in attack.

Up front, the robust Rudy Gestede could find the ideal partner in Scott Sinclair, whose pace would cause trouble on the shoulder of the last defender.

Sinclair showed against Sunderland that he can be a threat as a forward, and feeding off Gestede's aerial ability may give Sherwood a dangerous front two.

If Sherwood sticks with four at the back, the move to add two more centre backs seems strange, and moving to a 3-4-1-2 may suit some of his players slightly better.

It's an unfamiliar system in the Premier League and would definitely take time to adapt to for Villa's players, but given his array of centre back options, Sherwood should at least consider moving to a back three after the international break.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch