By Graham Hill
EXPECT Dean Smith to ring the changes at Crewe Alexandra when Villa begin their Carabao Cup campaign.
It is possible the Villa boss could make wholesale changes for the game with players keen to get game time after the club’s summer spending spree.
In goal, it is likely that Jed Steer will replace Tom Heaton – and although Lovre Kalinic is still at Villa Park, Smith will hope to have moved the Croatian on by the end of the week.
At the back, Matt Targett will be pushing for a call up at left-back while, at right back, Ahmed Elmohamady could get a recall.
The two centre backs Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels have teamed up superbly so far, but Ezri Konsa and Kortney Hause will be looking to play.
In midfield, Marvelous Nakamba could get a first start with Conor Hourihane land Henri Lansbury looking to come back in.
Out wide, Smith has a choice of Jota, Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet although Elmohamady could be pushed further forwards and Konza could play at right back.
Up front, Smith will be tempted to rest Wesley but with Jonathan Kodjia ruled out of the Everton game through injury, there could be a first start of the season for striker Keinan Davis.
Either way, the Carabao Cup is a competition Villa can go far in this season and supporters will be hoping there is no banana skin waiting for them at Gresty Road.