Dean Smith Finds Formation for Aston Villa in Defeat Against Chelsea

Villa Progress Despite Defeat

Aston Villa returned after the international break for a lesson in taking chances at Stamford Bridge, in a game that saw Villa impress until it came to actually scoring. Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku had no such trouble in sticking the ball into the net, as he capitalised on Villa’s wayward defending lapses to give the home team a 3-0 win.

Formation Switch

Villa were hamstrung by not being able to call on both Emiliano Martínez and Emi Buendia (who were still quarantining in Croatia), yet throughout the first half saw Smith’s use of three centre-backs play out a positive 3-5-2, as opposed to an expected more defensive 5-3-2.

Certainly it’s a formation that has been given some thought with the drafting in of both Danny Ings and Axel Tuanzebe in the summer, and you can expect to see it again, especially against the top four teams. Throw in Martinez and throw out the defensive lapses, and it should be an interesting option going forwards.

You’d probably also expect Buendia to come into the formation instead of Jacob Ramsay, but of course, the frustration of the formation is the question of where does Leon Bailey fit in? If everyone is fit, he probably doesn’t feature. Yet, if you are away to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, the Jamaican’s pace would be very useful on the counter.

There’s also the fact that Villa defensive line as a back four is tested and well-drilled, while against Chelsea the three centre-back’s had some issues in their organisation that led to goals. Will that improve with more familiarity with the formation?

In the latest My Old Man Said podcast (listen above), as well as putting the Chelsea game under the MOMS microscope, we catch up with the Villa news and look at some of the more bizarre recent happenings in the football world.

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  1. who is in the starting lineup for the next game could be more than interesting given that Sanson did not even come off bench against Chelski

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