The Championship playoff final is just around the corner and with it comes the prize of being promoted to the Premier League.
It’s a second appearance in as many years for Aston Villa, but they’ll be looking to go one step further following last year’s defeat to Fulham.
It’s set to be an outstanding encounter between two of the Championship’s most exciting teams, with all eyes on who will join Norwich City and Sheffield United in the Premier League next season.
Here’s a combined XI if available players from both of the finalists.
RB – Jayden Bogle
CB – Tyrone Mings
Villa were sitting in 10th place in the league when Mings arrived in Birmingham, but they’ve finished the campaign three points inside the playoff places in fifth place.
LB – Neil Taylor
Scott Malone’s suspension makes Neil Taylor’s inclusion not much more than a formality, although it’s worth pointing out that the Wales international has actually been in fine form since returning to the first-team setup.
CM – Conor Hourihane
CM – Mason Mount
Fikayo Tomori isn’t the only Chelsea loanee who will be on show in the playoff final, and even though midfielder Mason Mount won’t be the last, he’s arguably been their most improved export this campaign.
The 20-year-old has been involved in 17 goals for the Rams across all competitions and has been one of manager Frank Lampard’s individual success stories this season.
CM – John McGinn
RW – Harry Wilson
LW – Jack Grealish
He snubbed moves to the Premier League after Aston Villa’s promotion heartbreak, and now the 23-year-old finds himself in the same position once again, with a return to the Premier League within his grasp.
The England Under-21 international missed a large chunk of the season due to a shoulder injury, but his return has been the spark to help Dean Smith’s side into another playoff final.
ST – Tammy Abraham
The last of Chelsea’s loanees to make the combined XI is unsurprisingly Tammy Abraham, who finished as the Championship’s second top goalscorer, with his 26-goal haul bettered only by Teemu Pukki.
The England Under-21 international’s tally is more than Derby County’s three strikers combined (20), also equalling his incredible haul that Abraham achieved on loan at Bristol City during the 2016/17 season.