Aston Villa team news: Dean Smith could make major starting XI change

Dean Smith could switch to 4-3-3 for Aston Villa's Premier League clash with Wolves

Journalist Luke Hatfield has suggested Dean Smith could change Aston Villa's formation for their Premier League clash with Wolves on Saturday. 

The Villans have recently be lining up with three at the back - including in their last outing against Tottenham - but the Express and Star journalist believes there could be a change in approach to accommodate summer signing Emi Buendia.

What's the latest news involving Aston Villa?

Excepting a shock opening day defeat to newly-promoted Watford, Aston Villa won't have too many complaints about their season so far. 

The Midlands side have taken ten points from seven games, and recently pulled off a 1-0 scalping of Manchester United at Old Trafford. 

Nonetheless, manager Smith still hasn't quite found the perfect formula for his side. 

Villa have experimented with three-man and four-man defensive lines, while they're still waiting for Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins to truly kick off as an attacking partnership with just three Premier League goals between them.

At the same time, Smith has struggled to find a place in his side for club record signing Buendia, who has thus far made only three Premier League starts.

But we could see some more tinkering from the Villa Park boss this weekend, according to Hatfield. 

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What has Luke Hatfield said about Aston Villa's clash with Wolves?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, journalist Hatfield suggested that Smith could switch to a 4-3-3 formation against Wolves to find room in the side for Buendia. 

He also earmarked Marvelos Nakamba as a direct replacement for Douglas Luiz, who will be returning from international duty with Brazil. 

Speaking to GMS, he said: "We're not too sure on the system that Dean Smith's going to play, to be honest. He's been playing three at the back recently but he might change that to a 4-3-3 to get the likes of Emi Buendia in.

"So we'll have to wait and see what system he plays but it wouldn't surprise me if he's going with three in midfield that Marvelous Nakamba's the natural replacement for Douglas Luiz."

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Jonathan Kodija

Jonathan Kodija

Which formation should Dean Smith use versus Wolves?

As per Whoscored, both systems so far have produced pretty similar results for Aston Villa. They've taken six points from four games with three at the back, compared to four points from three games with four at the back. 

Wolves, though, have exclusively started with three at the back in the Premier League this season and with that in mind, it probably would be less risky for Smith to match up with Saturday's visitors rather than potentially play into their formation's hands. 

If the shared setups create a stalemate, Smith can swap out a defender for the likes of Buendia mid-game to change the dynamics of the match. 

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