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If Aston Villa find themselves 2-0 down at HT to Birmingham – This is what Bruce must do



Aston Villa host Birmingham this weekend as the two sides engage in the latest edition of the Second City Derby.

The first derby between the two this season was a pretty drab affair but this one has all the makings to be far better than that.

Indeed, we’ve got Villa going into the game as the form side in the league after six wins on the bounce whilst the relegation threatened Blues have rallied of late, too, and have shown that they can get big results.

Both sides will fancy getting something, then, and with it being a derby, anything could happen.

In our latest ‘What If?’ feature here at Football League World, then, we’re exploring what Steve Bruce might have to do if the Blues rush into an 2-0 lead at half-time.

Certainly, it’d be a shock to many given recent form and we think a system change would have to happen at the break, moving from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2.

Bruce, of course, likes to keep with the same formation but such a half-time scoreline would require tweaks and 4-4-2 is perhaps the most comfortable he and his players could switch too.

Personnel-wise, there might be a temptation to throw Gabby Agbonlahor given his derby history but we think Lewis Grabban should be offered the chance to come on in place of Conor Hourihane.

Grabban and Hogan is an untried strike-pair but at 2-0 down, there’s few better times to roll the dice with it. Meanwhile, there’s scope for other players to come on during the second period depending on how the game goes: