Bruce searches for attacking balance against Blackburn

4 November 2016

After an encouraging first few weeks in charge of Villa, Steve Bruce avoided the ignominy of defeat to the Blues in the second city derby, and extended his unbeaten start to four matches.

Whilst it was disappointing that we could not close out the match, 1-1 was a fair reflection of the match, especially given Clayton Donaldson missed with a header from just a yard out. The final score was also far from unexpected, as we now have nine draws from 15 league matches, including five 1-1 draws in the last nine. A repeat scoreline against Blackburn on Saturday is priced at 6.90 on EnergyBet.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s match, and Bruce will need to shuffle his attacking resources after losing Jordan Ayew to a one-match suspension. Albert Adomah is also a major doubt for the match after picking up a leg injury in the first half at St Andrews, and Ross McCormack looked far from comfortable in a wide role after replacing the Ghanaian winger.

Therefore, the door is ajar for Gabby Agbonlahor to return to the starting line-up. The former captain enjoyed a ten-minute cameo against Birmingham, and could be in line for a left sided role, unless Bruce chooses to move Jonathan Kodjia from the middle to accommodate Rudy Gestede. Agbonlahor also scored on Blackburn’s most recent visit to Villa Park in August 2011.

Blackburn will arrive at Villa Park in the Championship bottom three, on a run of just one victory in six matches. They recorded a 1-1 draw against an out-of-form Wolves last time out, but before that they had failed to score in four of their previous five league outings. Rovers were also beaten 3-1 at Villa Park in their final season before Premier League relegation five seasons ago.

EnergyBet Match Odds:

Aston Villa 1.63 | Draw 3.70 | Blackburn 5.40

EnergyBet Expects:

  • Both teams to Score (No) – 1.73


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