Charlie Nicholas has said that Aston Villa’s promotion has laid bare their weaknesses in the full back areas, ahead of their trip to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
As per Sky Sports, Nicholas is not impressed by Dean Smith’s options on the flanks of his defence and fears for them against the reigning champions.
He said: “I like Aston Villa going forward, but there is no doubt in my head that they have issues in the full-back positions. Dean Smith is attack-minded – they went to Arsenal and should have got something. But he will know the situation ahead of him here, but what does he do?
“Manchester City will take care of themselves – there are goals in every department. It is a free swing for Villa but one that could land them in some trouble. 4-1.”
TBR’s View – Nicholas’ criticism seems harsh but Villa will find keeping City out tough
Villa have scored against Arsenal and Tottenham away from home this season, owing to Smith’s approach of having a go at the big teams.
But they ultimately let in three goals in each of those matches, picking up no points, so they need to fine-tune their approach ahead of the trip to the Etihad.
Are their full backs specifically a weakness? There’s not been too much evidence of that, with Frederic Guilbert impressing and Matt Targett finding the net in the last minute against Brighton last time out.