Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has made a lot of changes to the team formation from last year. He is without the services of Jack Grealish who was bought by Manchester City in the summer. This season he has changed to a back three formation instead of back four. One change observed is the centre of midfield. There is a new midfield partnership developing between Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn. The trio has featured in five games for Villa in the Premier League and was on the winning side in three games. Let us take a look at how they have featured this season.
The trio has played against Newcastle United, Chelsea, Everton, Manchester United and Spurs. The only player who contributed towards scoring goals was Douglas Luiz. The midfielder provided an assist each against Everton and Manchester United in back-to-back games.
The above viz is the pass map of John McGinn in the five matches. McGinn has the highest expected assist rate amongst the three players. He has attempted the most number of balls in the opposition box and has an xA rate of 1.14 in those five matches. He is followed by Douglas Luiz who has already two assists to his name and is also on set-piece duties. His xA rate is 0.71 and has delivered five passes into the opposition 18-yard box. Jacob Ramsey has created the least expected assist rate but has delivered a few passes into the opposition box.
The above viz shows the location of the duel contested by these three players. The blue dots are loose ball duels, orange ones are aerial duels and red ones are defensive duels. Douglas Luiz plays in the centre of midfield with Ramsey on the left and McGinn on the right. All of them have dropped a lot and contested a few duels in their own half. Luiz has dropped the most and provides a defensive cover in front of the back three. He has contested the most number of aerial duels in comparison to the other two players.
Jacob Ramsey has attempted the most number of passes towards John McGinn. He shared 13 passes with him and eight passes towards Luiz. In return, he has received 13 passes from Luiz and eight passes from McGinn. Douglas Luiz has attempted 15 passes towards McGinn and has received eight passes from the player.
Ramsey and McGinn have attempted the same number of dribbles in the five matches. The duo has attempted 18 dribbles each and Luiz is just behind them on 15 dribbles. Luiz has made 39 recoveries so far and 22 of them have been in the opposition half. McGinn has made 23 recoveries and is followed by Ramsey on 17 recoveries. The Brazilian also leads the chart for the most number of interceptions. He has made 27 interceptions and the other two players have made 13 interceptions each.
Douglas Luiz has been the most defensive player in the trio. Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn provide attacking support from the left and right sides respectively. Their team has won three matches and lost two matches in the five matches played. Their partnership has created some threats and the players are involved in a lot of defensive actions. Dean Smith would expect more contribution towards scoring goals and hope that his team performs well in the upcoming season.