Aston Villa

Aston Villa predicted lineup vs Brentford - Premier League

Grey Whitebloom
After a sensational strike on his home debut, Danny Ings is all but cemented into Aston Villa's lineup against Brentford on Saturday
After a sensational strike on his home debut, Danny Ings is all but cemented into Aston Villa's lineup against Brentford on Saturday / Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Aston Villa take another tentative step into their post-Jack Grealish existence against Brentford on Saturday afternoon, a side they couldn't beat in six attempts even with their former talisman and his rolled down socks.

However, Dean Smith wasn't forced to call upon any of the playmaker's numerous replacements in midweek, deploying a team littered with academy graduates that swatted aside fourth-tier Barrow.

With a thumping victory fresh in the memory and his first-choice XI well rested, here's how Smith's side may lineup for the visit of his former club.

Aston Villa predicted lineup vs Brentford - Premier League

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Emiliano Martinez (GK) - Villa's undisputed number one managed to secure a clean sheet and all three points in the same match for the first time since February last weekend.

Matty Cash (RB) - With Ahmed Elmohamady no longer at the club, Cash's ranking among the squads right backs is under even less pressure than it was last term.

Ezri Konsa (CB) - The 'potential' that Smith referenced on both occasions he signed Konsa - the first time for Brentford incidentally - is swiftly being realised by the ever-improving 23-year-old.

Tyrone Mings (CB) - Having unusually had a hand in both goals against Newcastle, Aston Villa's captain will likely have a greater influence on proceedings from his own penalty area this weekend.

Ashley Young (LB) - Further fuel to the fire of Young's stake to the left-back slot ahead of Matt Targett came on Tuesday night as Smith picked last season's first-choice fullback in a decidedly second-string (at best) XI.

2. Midfielders

John McGinn (CM) - As one of only two players to have cracked three digits in Aston Villa appearances under Smith, only injury would McGinn out of the XI.

Douglas Luiz (CM) - Despite whispers of a departure this summer, the heavily-worked Brazilian international remains a Villa player, and a crucial one at that.

Jacob Ramsey (CM) - If Villa's academy product continues to turn out displays as promising as his second half flurry against Newcastle, the 20-year-old is certain to better his six Premier League starts from last season.

3. Forwards

Emi Buendia (RW) - A much improved display against Newcastle only really lasted until half-time. Villa's marquee signing will surely be selected again in a bid to continue that performance after the interval.

Danny Ings (ST) - Two games, two goals; a peach and a penalty. Villa's £25m man - a fee which already looks miserly - could become the first player since Dion Dublin last century to score in his opening three Premier League matches for the club.

Anwar El Ghazi (LW) - The Netherlands international may be the only player to have started all three games this season, but El Ghazi's status as Smith's most frequently selected charge since joining Villa underlines his durability, and importance.