Dean Smith will be prepared for the latest news in terms of getting back to action after this very important Premier League meeting this Friday.
Bosses want to move forward with a June return date with the remaining games most likely to be played behind closed doors.
There is a strong weight for the Premier League to reach its 38 games and not follow controversial decisions in Holland and Belgium.
As for the Villa manager, he sat down with his stars from the first team for hour-long assessments before returning to work.
People like Jack Grealish and his colleagues worked hard to try to maintain their fitness level before the break-in of 10 Villa games.
With Arsenal’s return formation – although now strictly socially distanced – we found Smith’s Villa XI most likely after the foreclosure.
The manager remained faithful to his weapons throughout the season after temporarily passing to a 3-4-3 between January and the Carabao Cup final.
The last time, Smith returned to his favorite 4-3-3 formation after the system appeared to frustrate Man City the previous week at Wembley.
Against Leicester, it was the first time the manager returned to a 4-3-3 in the Premier League since arguably Villa’s worst campaign poster at Watford three days after Christmas.
Going back to team selection, here’s how we think Smith could line up for Villa’s next game scheduled for the summer, subject to government approval.
Goalkeeper: Orjan Nyland
Pepe Reina’s time between the sticks in the Premier League may well be over after consecutive performances full of errors. Nyland didn’t have a chance not to play against Leicester after another decent cup at Wembley. Reina’s mistake at King Power was unforgivable, and when he returned to the game, it might be the Norwegian from Villa who got the green light. Tom Heaton and Jed Steer will both still be far from coming back.
Lateral rear: Freddie Guilbert and Matt Targett
The pair have been the backbone of all since the travel of season newbies Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor. Guilbert had a stench in Leicester but Smith will probably stay with the Frenchman given his pace and athleticism. As for Targett, it was a bit high and low this quarter. In his 20 Premier League starts, he scored once and made two assists – but was taken from time to time, which led to Villa conceding. The back left – with Guilbert – will be chosen again during the next Villa feature.
Central Defenders: Bjorn Engels and Tyrone Mings
Mingels, as we like to call them. The pair established a solid enough relationship before the Mings’ injury to Leicester in November while, a week later, it was Engels who battled Southampton. Engels took a little time to return to the starting XI after form problems and illness. You imagine the pair will be back to each other, despite the fact that they both played in the 4-0 defeat at Leicester.
Midfielder for three: Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn & Jack Grealish
John McGinn’s return will give Aston Villa the lift it needs when action resumes. The Scotsman will be like a new recruit who will bite his teeth to resume the game. Elsewhere, Smith was full of praise for the return of Marvelous Nakamba before the break and admired his attitude, his will and his heart when the start was difficult. Smith, on the other hand, could choose to bring Jack Grealish back to No. 8 – despite the flourishing 24-year-old left. However, Grealish will be like a dog with a bone when Villa returns and wants to be in the heart of the matter to help Villa avoid relegation.
Wingers: Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet
Not the strongest area of Villa’s land by any stretch of the imagination. Still, Smith could give El Ghazi and Trezeguet a clean slate to show him what they can do. El Ghazi has something but can be spoiled by an inconsistency. As for Trezeguet, he fell victim to not having had a series of games from the start after not having produced enough goods. You might think Smith probably sat down with these pairs the most while locking. When it comes to competition, it was only Jota who had a hard time trying to get into the matchday team, let alone the XI.
Forward: Mbwana Samatta
The Tanzanian has impressed his supporters since his arrival in January. He has scored two goals in five games, including this superb header at Wembley. It’s no secret that Samatta was isolated before the break and that he will need decent service if he is to achieve the goals necessary to keep Villa in place. Keinan Davis will be the replacement for Samatta although the reporter would like to see the two play together. Wesley just started running again in Brazil after ripping his cruciform four months ago.