It was meant to be a matter of course that Villa would walk the Sky Bet Championship and be returning to the Premier League next season.
However, it hasn’t turned out that way and instead they have become the first manager to part companies with their manager since the start of the season.
They sit in 19th place, and have some real issues on their hands – whilst their defence hasn’t been that bad, they’re scoring tally (10) is tiny in comparison to that of Norwich (21) and Newcastle (22).
This weekend, local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Villa Park to make it even harder for new manager Steve Bruce to get off to a good start in charge.
Wolves have come under some criticism themselves, especially after the 4-0 defeat to Barnsley, with manager Walter Zenga’s recruitment being a particular focus.
Here, in the opinion of FLW’s Ryan Evans, is an Aston Villa XI that will beat Wolves this weekend in the Midlands derby…