Since Dean Smith took over Aston Villa in October 2018, he has experimented with a fair few different tactics. In Villa’s last three league games, they have set up with a back three and wing backs, and so far it has worked.
They first tried the tactic away at Chelsea and lost 3-0, however that scoreline flattered Chelsea as Villa were arguably the better side. After that, Villa faced Everton at home and set out with the same shape as they did the week before in London, and they beat the toffees by three goals to nil. After a cup game where they played a back four, Villa switched back to a back three for Manchester United away, and they won 1-0, beating them for the first time since 2009.
For the Chelsea and Everton games, the back three was Tyrone Mings, Axel Tuanzebe and Ezri Konsa, however Tuanzebe was illegible to face Manchester United due to them being his parent club, therefore, Kortney Hause came in to replace him, and the rest is history.
Not only did Hause play brilliantly at the back, teaming up with Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings to keep the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes out, he also scored the winning goal with a brilliant glancing header.
So, who starts at centre back this Sunday away at Tottenham to try and keep Harry Kane out? The likelihood is that Villa will definitely play a back three and both Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa will take up two of them roles, so who takes up the third one? Will it be Kortney Hause, the match winner in Manchester, or will it be Axel Tuanzebe, the defender who is arguably better technically?
Kortney Hause has definitely earnt his place in the team, but Tuanzebe is arguably the better player, and if you want to win football games, you field your best players.
It will be a tough task for Dean Smith to select the back three on Sunday as he has four centre backs that deserve to start. However, as long as the back three can stop Tottenham from scoring, I’m sure the Villa faithful won’t mind which centre backs start and which one unfortunately misses out.
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