Predicted Aston Villa side to face Birmingham City: Bruce changes three, Kodjia replaced, brothers clash

Villa Park 6

Here is how we predict Aston Villa and Birmingham City will line-up ahead of their Championship clash this weekend.

To be played on Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 12:00. Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham

Odds: Aston Villa 10/11, Draw 12/5, Birmingham 3/1

Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi intervenes to separate Gary Gardner (L) and Birmingham City's David Davies

Aston Villa take on Birmingham City in Sunday's Second City Derby, with the Blues in greater need of all three points.

In Birmingham's favour, hosts Villa will have a major disadvantage heading into the encounter - as they will be without suspended goal-getter Jonathan Kodjia following the talisman's petulant dismissal against Fulham last time out. 

Kodjia's absence means that former Birmingham boss Steve Bruce is likely to reshuffle his Villa attacking setup yet again - with additional consideration perhaps given to the merits of continuing a three man back line deployed in the humbling defeat to the Cottagers.

With this in mind, Bruce may decide to ditch the previously used 3-4-1-2 in favour of a 4-3-3 system - which could see recalls for Alan Hutton, Henri Lansbury and Albert Adomah. The latter is expected to return to the line-up alongside Jack Grealish, with the duo supporting Scott Hogan in attack.

New Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp during the press conference

Meanwhile, opponents Birmingham make the short trip to Villa Park in hope that a new manager bump will assist their quest to avoid relegation from the Championship.

Recently installed boss Harry Redknapp has just a matter of days to prepare his new troops for this Midlands derby - and in the aftermath of previous incumbent Gianfranco Zola's resignation earlier in the week, will be expecting an immediate response from his newly-inherited players.

Gary Gardner celebrates scoring the first goal for Aston Villa

Redknapp, who has stated that four points from the remaining three games will be enough to keep Birmingham from the drop, is likely to deploy a a central midfield pairing of David Davis and Craig Gardner ahead of a reverted back four defence - with the latter set to battle his direct opponent, brother Gary, in what promises to be an archetypal midfield quagmire. 

Here is our predicted line-up for both Aston Villa and Birmingham City, in full:

Aston Villa predicted lineup

  • Sam Johnstone
  • Jordan Amavi
  • Nathan Baker
  • James Chester
  • Alan Hutton
  • Albert Adomah
  • Gary Gardner
  • Jack Grealish
  • Mile Jedinak
  • Henri Lansbury
  • Scott Hogan

Birmingham predicted lineup

  • Tomasz Kuszczak
  • Cheick Keita
  • Paul Robinson
  • Ryan Shotton
  • David Davis
  • Craig Gardner
  • Jacques Maghoma
  • Nsue
  • Robert Tesche
  • Che Adams
  • Lukas Jutkiewicz
 

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