Two changes expected in Aston Villa's forward thinking 4-2-1-3

Gary Gardner celebrates scoring the first goal for Aston Villa

Steve Bruce looks set to recall Ross McCormack and Jack Grealish in an attacking line-up as his Aston Villa side entertain Cardiff City in the Championship.

Ross McCormack celebrates with Jack Grealish after he scores Aston Villa's first goal

Aston Villa welcome Cardiff City to Villa Park this weekend for what could be another fiercely competitive Championship clash. 

Villa go into the match in excellent form, having experienced a six game winning streak under new boss Steve Bruce - and after a poor start to the season now sit just four points from the play-off zone. 

The home side also have history in their favour ahead of the match. The last time these two teams faced each other in this fixture was in the 2013-14 Premier League campaign; a game in which Villa were 2-0 victors thanks to goals from Leandro Bacuna and Libor Kozak. 

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Bruce is expected to make two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with second placed Brighton last weekend, with former Cardiff talisman Ross McCormack likely to be drafted into the starting XI. 

After his big money move to Villa in the summer, McCormack, who scored 21 goals in 38 Championship appearances for Cardiff in the 2008-09 season, will be hoping to improve on his two goals in 14 Villa games this season.

Aston Villa's Pierluigi Gollini (L) makes a save from a shot by Birmingham City's Jacques Maghoma

At goalkeeper, Bruce will name the young and ever improving Pierluigi Gollini - who has displayed a growing sense of confidence and performance level in Bruce's short tenure thus far. 

The Italian stopper is likely to be protected by a back four - consisting of Alan Hutton at right back, Jordan Amavi at left back, and the central defensive pair of Nathan Baker and Welshman James Chester. 

Gary Gardner celebrates scoring the first goal for Aston Villa with Alan Hutton

Ahead of Baker and Chester, it is anticipated that central midfielders Mile Jedinak and Gary Gardner will be deployed in the double-pivot, enabling Hutton and Amavi to support a very offensive looking four-man front line. 

Brighton's Gaetan Bong and Aston Villa's Albert Adomah in action

Aside from width provided by Hutton and Amavi, Villa's forward-thinking threat looks likely to come from a quartet of attacking talent, the envy of many Championship clubs.

Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia scores their first goal

Bruce is likely to recall Jack Grealish into the starting XI and use the 21-year-old in a free role behind a front three of McCormack to the left, Albert Adomah on the right, either side of focal point Jonathan Kodjia as the central forward.

Here is the predicted Aston Villa line-up in full:

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