Aston Villa team news: £27m ace tipped to return to starting XI after shock snub

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Journalist Luke Hatfield expects Tyrone Mings to return to the Aston Villa side for their trip to Southampton on Friday.

The Villa captain had started all but one of their Premier League matches this season but was dropped from the XI for the defeat to West Ham on Sunday.

Dean Smith's decision to leave out his skipper backfired, though, as the Villa Park outfit suffered their fourth consecutive league defeat and remain just three points above the relegation-zone.

Why was Mings dropped?

He hasn't been playing well enough this season. His mistake against Chelsea back in September was his low point, but his fortunes haven't improved much since.

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According to WhoScored, Mings has been Villa's tenth-best player this season with an average rating of 6.66.

But the centre-back has slipped considerably below that number in recent defeats to Wolves (6.28) and Arsenal (6.24).

Furthermore, Smith explained that his decision to pick Kortney Hause was down to his ability from set-pieces, with the Hammers one of the strongest sides in the division from dead ball situations.

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"There is a big call whenever you are selecting the team. We changed system and went with a back four," Smith told the Express & Star. "They are very powerful from set pieces and Kortney is very good from them. Tyrone has probably not been playing at the top of his game."

There would have been every chance that Mings would have returned to the side anyway after the 4-1 defeat, but Ezri Konsa was sent off early in the second-half and is therefore suspended for the Southampton game.

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With that in mind, Hatfield is confident that Mings will be recalled.

What did Hatfield say?

When asked if he expects the defender to start, he told GIVEMESPORT: "I would imagine. He's the club captain and Dean Smith mentioned after the game that he wanted Hause on the park and I think that Hause enjoyed the physical battle with Michail Antonio and won it for the most part."

Does Mings deserve to start?

Whilst the red card completely changed the game against West Ham, Konsa and Hause didn't exactly have the makings of a top partnership prior to the former's sending off.

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Mings, valued at £27m by Transfermarkt, did end up coming on after the red card but losing his place in the side might prove to be a turning point for the Villa captain.

Getting dropped is never a nice feeling, especially when you wear the armband, so it could prove the catalyst for Mings to get back to his best.

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