By Joe Roberts

30th Sep, 2023 | 10:10am

'Electric' Kaoru Mitoma may force Unai Emery into Aston Villa tactical changes v Brighton

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Brighton’s “electric” Kaoru Mitoma may force Unai Emery to move Ezri Konsa to right-back for Aston Villa’s Premier League showdown, according to Dan Bardell.

The Seagulls take the trip up to Villa Park on Saturday (30 September) as a side in excellent form. European spots are no stranger to Roberto De Zerbi’s side, with their 3rd-place position speaking volumes to the quality of talent on the south coast.

However, Villa sit just three points behind the high-flying seagulls, and a win at Villa Park could see them end the weekend in a Champions League spot, but with Brighton’s excellent squad, it will be no easy challenge.

Bardell has hailed Brigton’s left flank as their most “dangerous area”. Therefore, Emery may move centre-back Ezri Konsa to the right-back position as he is the “best one-on-one defender” at the club in an attempt to neutralise Mitoma and Pervis Estupinan.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “There might be a case for playing Konsa at right-back just because he’s the best one-on-one defender Villa have. Mitoma is obviously playing on the left wing and he’s absolutely electric and a really difficult player to come up against.

“I feel Konsa there would perhaps limit Mitoma a little bit more than Matty Cash. Then you’re able to move Cash forward and play him in the wide role on the right. That will see Villa set up better against Brighton. We’ve got a good record against them too, we’ve become a bit of a bogey team.

“With Mitoma and Estupinan down the left-hand side, that’s their most dangerous area. Brighton is a tough team to call because De Zerbi could change 11 players – they’ve done that before this season.

“The two teams are pretty even, but if Villa could beat Brighton on Saturday, that would be a helluva result. We’ve had a good start, but with a win, people will really start to take notice of us. Villa’s start has gone a little bit under the radar because they’ve been hammered twice!”

In other Aston Villa news, a BBC pundit was baffled by a “strange” Unai Emery move as Aston Villa failed on European return.