Douglas Luiz Escapes Three-Game Suspension
It’ll be of small conciliation to Steven Gerrard, that the incident of Douglas Luiz’s sending off against Fulham, that was key in finally triggering his dismissal, has been upheld as a wrongful dismissal by an independent Regulatory Commission.
The game was 1-0 at the time and while Villa didn’t look likely to get anything out of a game against their spirited hosts at Craven Cottage, they were at least still in the game.
While you can add it to the list of mitigating circumstances that didn’t help Gerrard, notably, the big injuries to the players he’d bought in this year to improve the team and help play his formation, ultimately you make your own luck.
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Villa Mole and Reshuffle
Villa will at least now have Luiz available for the upcoming fixture against Brentford at Villa Park, which if a mole in the Villa ranks is to believed (after a report from the Daily Telegraph), has allowed for both John McGinn and Jacob Ramsay to be dropped from caretaker manager Aaron Danks’ first starting line-up, against the Bees.
One possible outcome could be Villa starting with two deeper sitting midfielders in Luiz and potentially Leander Dendoncker, who would actually be making his first Villa start.
If there’s one thing that will cross Danks’ mind is that this team needs a refresh in both personnel, tactical approach and mentality.
It’s a tough assignment for the coach, but the pressure is off for him at the moment, considering Villa were on a road to nowhere before him.
It’ll be interesting to see if either Philippe Coutinho or Emi Buendia starts. Or, if he chooses Buendia ahead of Coutinho.
Perhaps Buendia will get the nod over Leon Bailey on the right-hand side, with Danny Ings continuing up top with Ollie Watkins on the left-hand side?
Brentford come to Villa Park without an away win this season, which normally means only one thing. A situation backed up by the fact that Villa are winless in their last eight top flight league matches against Brentford since a 2-0 away victory in February 1947.
Hopefully, for Villa, it will be a day that changes more than their midfield.