Team selections are just one of the difficult jobs that football managers are faced with in the modern game. Aston Villa have one of the biggest games in their recent history a matter of days away. Dean Smith must pick a starting XI that he feels is good enough to get Villa across the line at Wembley.
I have picked my starting XI. The one I believe will give us the best chance of beating Derby County and guiding us into the Premiership.
The hero at the Hawthorns. He has been our man in between the sticks for our incredible run of form of late and deserves nothing less than a start at Wembley. Steer has made some sensational saves, and also stopped 2 penalties to send us to the final.
Neil Taylor has been Mr Consistent in recent weeks. The Welsh full-back looks better than he ever has done in a Villa shirt. Questions will always be asked about his attacking ability but that has improved of late. He has been more reliable than he ever has been since his move from Swansea City.
Axel Tuanzebe has been solid since returning from his injury. He missed out on last years final so will be hoping to make the difference this time around.
Does this man need a reason? Since joining us from Bournemouth in January he has been fantastic. He has built up a great relationship with the fans and many will be hoping the ‘man mountain’ will make his move permanent.
Without a doubt, the best crosser of a ball at Aston Villa in my opinion. Some of the Egyptians deliveries this season have been exquisite and he has contributed to 7 assists this season. Elmohamady can be very dangerous going forward. As much as I love Alan Hutton, Elmo is my choice for Wembley.
Our Captain. Our hero. Villa born and bred and in my opinion the best player in the Championship. He has scored some wonder goals this season and has a habit of running the show in our games. Nothing short of a Captain Jack special will suffice for Monday’s big game at Wembley.
There is no real surprise that McGinn has won both players and fans play of the season this season.
John McGinn has been undoubtedly the signing of the season. He is everywhere and never seems to stop running. Just when you think that the game is over, McGinn will have an energy spurt. He is also capable of putting one in the top corner also.
I believe that the Irishman is the most under-appreciated player at Villa this season. Hourihane always seems to pop up with a goal or an assist and his contribution is integral for our side. We need to take an attacking approach against Derby, just as we did when we met earlier this season.
Anwar El Ghazi
To some, The Dutch Ronaldo. Anwar El Ghazi has been lightening over the last few games and has caused opposition defenders plenty of problems. His dribbling is sublime and he is capable of crossing or shooting with either foot. He is a no brainer for the left side.
Possibly the hardest decision to make in the team. Adomah or Green? Green, for me, is more of an impact player to bring on and run at tired defenders. Adomah will offer more support defensively and I believe his crossing is slightly better than Greens.
Without question, Tammy deserves to lead the line. Our top scorer this season is the man we need up front to fire us back to the Premiership. Although his form and goals have dipped a little, he is always ice cold in front of goal. Hopefully, he will get his name on the scoresheet.
That concludes my Wembley starting 11. Do you agree or would you have Whelan and Green in? Have your say in the comments below.