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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, April 13th 2019

Taylor gets the nod at Villa Park

Matty Taylor returns to the starting XI as City go in search of victory at Villa Park this afternoon.

The striker, who recently netted against Wigan Athletic, partners Famara Diédhiou up front, while Niclas Eliasson and Andreas Weimann keep their positions out wide.

Taylor's place sees Nathan Baker drop to the bench in the only change from Tuesday night's win over West Brom. Lee Johnson resorts to a back four with Adam Webster partnering Tomas Kalas, while Jack Hunt and Jay Dasilva take the full-back spots.

Speaking about Taylor's start, Head Coach Johnson said: “The Wigan game was his first start in six months so naturally he was going to be a bit fatigued. We used him as a sub against West Brom and he did well and we’ll use him today from the start, no problem.

“We have a lot of attacking players in the team today and our challenge us to get that balance between coming away from home and defending stoutly and strong but also having enough creative and forward-thinking players.

Liam Walsh also earns himself a place among the subs after returning from injury but Korey Smith misses out, despite traveling with the team.

Johnson added: “Korey Smith was in the travelling squad for his leadership qualities and what he can give to the group. He has trained one day and been out 11 so what we want with Korey is to ensure that we have him for the remainder of the season.”

Aston Villa v Bristol City kicks off at 3pm.

City: O'Leary, Hunt, Webster, Kalas, Dasilva, Pack, Brownhill, Weimann, Eliasson, Taylor, Diédhiou. Subs: Marinovic, Kelly, Baker, Wright, Walsh, Paterson, Palmer.

Aston Villa: Steer, Tuanzebe, Taylor, Whelan, McGinn, Hourihane, Jedinah, El Ghazi, Abraham, Elmohamady, Adomah. Subs: Saritic, Lansbury, Davis, Green, Bjarnason, Hutton, Ramsey.