Bruce should have paired Hogan and O'Hare when Aston Villa faced Derby

Manager of Aston Villa Steve Bruce during the pre season friendly match between Aston Villa and Watford  at Villa Park on July 29, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa did have goal-scoring options, they simply chose not to use them.

Scott Hogan of Aston Villa in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Aston Villa at Deepdale on November 1, 2017 in Preston, England.

With Keinan Davis joining Jonathan Kodjia on the side-lines as Aston Villa prepared to face Derby County this weekend,  Villans boss Steve Bruce opted to kick off the match without a recognised striker.

The thing is, not only was forward Scott Hogan sitting on the bench but, in youngster Callum O'Hare, Villa have a potentially brilliant partner for the former Brentford man.

Callum O'Hare of Aston Villa and Anthony Raston of Celtic in action during the Premier League International Cup match between Aston Villa U23's and Celtic U23's at Villa Park on November 9,...

Hogan and O'Hare is a partnership some Villa fans have been desperate to see develop and yet Bruce headed into a clash against a fellow promotion hopeful with neither of them, seemingly hoping for a lucky goal on the break rather than taking he game to the Rams.

Ultimately, and unsurprisingly, Derby won 2-0, leaving Villa supporters to wonder why Bruce continues to make bizarre decisions before admitting afterwards that yes, perhaps he made a mistake.

Villa manager Steve Bruce reacts after a near miss during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on September 12, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Hogan is not a bad player, even if his goal-return for Villa has failed to justify his price tag or the hype that accompanied his arrival. He simply needs the right player operating behind him and O'Hare fits the bill perfectly.

The 19-year-old showed in his EFL Cup appearances earlier this season what he is capable of, quickly forming an impressive understanding with Hogan, who scored three goals in his first two cup outings.

O'Hare is ready to step up for Villa in the league, while overlooking Hogan when they need goals is baffling to say the least.

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