Football Features

Aston Villa vs Derby: play-off final tactics, formations & line ups explained

By Squawka News

Published: 10:56, 26 May 2019 | Updated: 13:09, 20 August 2019

Aston Villa and Derby County are both just one game away from the promised land of the Premier League.

The stakes could not be any higher for both Dean Smith and Frank Lampard, whose sides finished fifth and sixth respectively.

The Villans won the two league fixtures courtesy of a combined 7-0 scoreline but things are expected to be much closer on Bank Holiday Monday.

Ahead of the huge clash at Wembley, we’ve tackled all of the major talking points…


Play-off finals can do funny things to players and it is crucial for both teams to hold their nerve.

There are some signs to suggest we could be in for a cagey encounter given the magnitude of the occasion, but the attacking nature of both sides means chances are unlikely to be in short supply.

Derby always seek to press and win the ball back in high areas of the pitch while Villa will look to build through central areas and feed striker Tammy Abraham.


Lampard sprung a surprise in the semi-final victory over Leeds by fielding a diamond in midfield and may opt to do so again.

The system gave both Mason Mount and Harry Wilson amble opportunities to get on the ball and create chances.

However, Derby must also find a way to stifle Jack Grealish’s influence on the game. The Villa captain thrives within his side’s 4-3-3 formation, linking play and driving forward into key areas.

Last year’s final passed the 23-year-old by but he will be determined to produce a defining display on the big stage.

Line ups

Derby’s Jack Marriott made a crucial impact against Leeds and will be pushing for a start up front. Scott Malone will be suspended, which could give Ashley Cole an opportunity to start on the left-hand side of defence.

Villa boss Smith has a key choice to make in midfield with Glenn Whelan’s significant experience potentially set to be preferred to Conor Hourihane.

Youngster Andre Green will be hopeful he has done enough to ensure Albert Adomah is named among the substitutes.

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