By Graham Hill
THE destination of the title may still be at stake at Villa Park on Sunday, but Dean Smith surely has to make some shrewd team changes for the final game of the regular season.
Namely, John McGinn.
The man may not stop running, but this would be one game everyone could be glad he sat out.
McGinn collected his 14th yellow card of the season in the controversial game at Leeds.
One more and the all-action midfielder gets a three-match ban. That would keep him out of both legs of the Play-off semi-final and the final if Villa get there.
Smith has already hinted McGinn will ‘very likely’ not play. But there can be no two ways about it.
If he was left out of the 18 completely I think all fans would understand why.
The only problem is that the EFL are sticklers for teams not affecting the outcome of a game where something is at stake.
Sheffield United are also aiming for the title with the Canaries.
If Smith fields a team with key players missing then Blades boss Chris Wilder is within his rights to complain if Norwich coast to victory and seal top spot.
On the other hand, Villa have injuries to Tammy Abraham, Jonathan Kodjia and keeper Jed Steer.
If Steer cannot play then it will be a case of seeing if Lovre Kalinic is fit again after a knee operation.
Otherwise it will be a debut for 21-year-old keeper Matija Sarkic. Smith will want to get his key men ready for a likely play-off semi-final with West Brom – on paper Sunday’s game means little other than the chance to stretch their unbeaten run to 13 games.
But it is McGinn who is of most concern. A place on the bench at best would be the sensible option. But Smith is not one for dropping his best players.