Venue: Griffin Park
Date: Tuesday 31st January 2017
Referee: David Coote
Brentford: D D W L L
Villa: W D L L D
Last time the two teams met: 1st October 2016 – Aston Villa 1 – 1 Brentford
Roberto Di Matteo’s Villans threw away three points as a late John Egan goal cancelled out Jonathan Kodjia’s nineteenth minute opener.
Ten days have passed since Bruce’s boys somehow threw away three points against Preston North End and it has been all change at Bodymoor Heath.
Three players have come in and one has left while there are set to be further ins and outs before kick-off tonight.
Ashley Westwood and Jordan Ayew are among those set to leave the club and Neil Taylor is the one player who looks certain to arrive.
Despite the transfer uncertainty, Bruce’s squad for the clash is confirmed after the deadline for new signings to be able to play passed at 12pm on Monday.
He will be hoping that his team, which is set to have a new look midfield, can turn around its horrendous run on the road and get three points to set the wheels in motion on a hopeful play-off push. Birkir Bjarnason and Conor Hourihane are looking set to start in that new look midfield alongside Henri Lansbury. Lansbury impressed in the draw and, with the league’s leading assist maker and the scorer of Iceland’s first ever European Championships goal set to follow in that vein, Villa fans could finally have the impressive midfield they have been looking for.
Along with the signings of Hourihane and Bjarnason, nineteen-year-old defender James Bree also joined the club from Barnsley. One of the hottest prospects in the country after nailing down his position in the Yorkshire side’s team, he will be hoping to force Alan Hutton out of the team before the trip to the Bees.
It’s not only the new signings causing excitement amongst the Villa fans, as top scorer Jonathan Kodjia is also set to return to the starting line-up following the Ivory Coast’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations.
This evening’s hosts suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Chelsea in the FA Cup on Saturday and will be looking to bounce back from that step to far when they welcome Aston Villa Football Club to Griffin Park.
Dean Smith’s has a tight knit group of players who have built their season on a never say die attitude and hard fought performances so Brentford will be a very tough nut for Villa to crack.
The home team are likely to be in their usual red and white kit while Villa will no doubt be in their traditional Claret and Blue due to a kit clash with our away colours. Looking for shirts yourself? Well check out what Charles Tyrwhitt has to offer.
Mile Jedinak is set to miss the trip with the groin injury that kept him out of the game against Preston North End ten days ago. Bruce revealed that the Australian is not yet fit enough for action but new signings Birkir Bjarnason and Conor Hourihane are ready to step into the midfield alongside Henri Lansbury.
New signing James Bree will be looking to force Alan Hutton out of his starting berth, whilst youngster André Green impressed during the draw with Preston North End and could keep his place in the side.
Jonathan Kodjia has also returned from the Africa Cup of Nations after his national side’s shock elimination.
The hosts could be without star striker Scott Hogan, who looks to be the subject of a deadline day tug-of-war. According to various reporters, Aston Villa is one of the sides interested in securing his signature.
Rico Henry and Alan Judge are set to miss the game with shoulder and leg injuries respectively, although Florian Jozefzoom has received international clearance and could make his debut.
One to watch
Romaine Sawyers (pictured) is a product of the West Bromwich Albion academy. After making his name with Walsall, he followed Dean Smith to the Bees.
A tricky winger, he has brilliant footwork and an eye for a killer final pass in the final third.
With pace in abundance, he will be a thorn in the Villa defence for the whole night.
He may be raw at Championship level and will need to work on scoring goals. Nevertheless, he is an incredibly dangerous forward who will need to be watched.