Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has offered some tactical advice to Aston Villa manager Dean Smith ahead of the West Midlands side's Premier League meeting with Burnley at Villa Park, as per his Sky Sports News article.
The Villans are still finding their feet in the top flight following promotion last season, with just one win and one draw from their opening six league games this season, leaving them in the bottom three ahead of the Clarets clash.
Nicholas, a retired footballer who played for the likes of Celtic, Arsenal and Aberdeen, believes that Villa have been leaving themselves vulnerable at the back, using the 3-2 loss at the Emirates as a key example, and suggested that Smith should make a few tweaks in terms of player positions to ensure more defensive solidity.
"When they go in front, they have Jack Grealish and John McGinn further forward," Nicholas wrote on Sky Sports News. "McGinn is great for his drive and energy - everything is done at such pace - but when it's not working, he should play a bit deeper for 15 minutes or so and let Grealish stay further forward.
"Dean Smith still wants to play the game, even when his side are in front, which I admire. There is a difference at this level, and sometimes it is just small changes which are needed. They don't need to change the personnel, they just need to change a position around five to 10 yards. If Grealish plays further forward, McGinn and Marvelous Nakamba can sit in there."
While their Premier League form still needs some work, Villa are going into this game on the back of a 3-1 victory away at fellow top-flight side Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek, which booked their spot in the fourth round of the League Cup.
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