How Aston Villa could lineup in the Championship next season

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Aston Villa’s latest humiliation, in a season full of them, came in a 6-0 mauling at the hands of Liverpool on Valentine’s Day.

Following that defeat, the Villans moved to 16/1 shots to survive relegation. With 12 games remaining to secure their ever-present top-flight status, beleaguered boss Remi Garde said he must find 11 players that have the fight to win those games.

With eight points to make up on 17th-placed Norwich in that time and just two league victories in the last 25 outings, the Frenchman may be better served planning an XI to start next season’s Championship.

Here’s how Ladbrokes News see the Midlands club lining up on the opening day of the Championship season. We’ve not factored in any new signings because, well, the club did exactly the same thing in January.

Villa-XI

Three of the proposed back five are currently on loan in the Championship. Jed Steer is at Huddersfield, Joe Bennett’s with Sheffield Wednesday and Nathan Baker is playing for Bristol City.

That trio can be supplemented by Ciaran Clark, a candidate to take the captain’s armband in our side, and young right-back Jordan Lyden.

Ashley Westwood can be partnered by Gary Gardner, also on loan in the Championship with Nottingham Forest, in the middle of the park, with a young trio of Carles Gil, Jack Grealish and Adama Traore operating infront of them.

Rudy Gestede sealed his move to Villa on the back of his second-tier goalscoring with Blackburn and would be expected to fire the goals that propel the club back to the big time next term.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.