Hourihane out, Whelan in for Villa

By Graham Hill

IT looks like Dean Smith was playing his cards close to his chest on Friday.

Today’s team sheet for the play-off six pointer with Middlesbrough shows there is no place for midfielder Conor Hourihane.

And as he is not on he bench, we can only assume he is injured and Smith did not want to let the cat out of bag.

But in his place comes Glenn Whelan, a player well known to Pulis as he was one of his trusted midfield generals when he was Stoke City boss.

Whelan can feel unlucky to have lost his place in the side against Birmingham and Nottingham Forest after an outstanding display in the 4-0 win over Derby.

But he is back and Pulis will know all about him. Keinan Davis is on the subs’ bench with Hourihane out of the squad.

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