Dean Smith looks forward to battle of some of England's best

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith looks forward to the battle of some of England’s best against Leicester with Jack Grealish, Ezri Konsa and co set to take on Harvey Barnes and James Maddison’s Foxes

  • Several England hopefuls will be on show when Aston Villa play Leicester
  • Jack Grealish, Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings are crucial to Villa’s fine season 
  • James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy are some of England’s best
  • Dean Smith thinks the tie will showcase some of Three Lions best talents

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith believes Sunday’s home Premier League game against Leicester will showcase some of England’s best talent.

Villa are looking to close the gap on the top six, while Leicester will climb second with victory if Manchester United drop points on Sunday against Newcastle at Old Trafford.

Smith’s side have kept 12 clean sheets in the top flight this season, with Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa key to a solid defence which aims to shackle Foxes pair Jamie Vardy and James Maddison.

 Jack Grealish (left) and James Maddison (right) will be two England hopefuls battling it out on Sunday as Aston Villa take on Leicester City in the Premier League

‘There will be duels certainly, with Tyrone and Konsa I would have thought against Vardy and Maddison,’ Smith said.

‘We’ve got quite a British base among our players anyway and they’ve got some very good English players as well, so it makes for a really interesting game.

‘We had a really tight game at the King Power (in October), which we managed to win in the last minute and there’s certainly going to be some really good duels to look out for.’

Villa skipper Jack Grealish will not want to be upstaged by either Maddison or another in-form England team-mate, Harvey Barnes, who scored his 12th goal of the season in all competitions in last week’s win against Liverpool.

Jamie Vardy is again proving himself to being one of the most dangerous forwards in England

Ezri Konsa (left) and Tyrone Mings (right) have been excellent as Villa have kept 12 clean sheets

‘Harvey Barnes has been doing brilliantly this season and you all know my feelings on how Jack’s been doing,’ Smith said.

When asked if Grealish and Maddison would be compatible in England’s starting line-up, Smith said: ‘There’s no reason why not.

‘But that’s not my decision to make. That’s the England manager’s decision to make.

‘I think they’re different players and they’ve shown they can play in different positions as well for their clubs this season, so thankfully I don’t have to make that decision.’

Leciester’s Harvey Barnes is another talent hoping to break his way into the England team

Smith believes Grealish has thrived under the closer attention he has received from opposing sides since forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s starting XI.

‘I think he’s always been a marked man,’ Smith added. ‘Ever since I’ve been at the club teams have their own plan for him, as we would for top players of other teams.

‘He’s usually come up with ways to get around their plans for him and I actually find with Jack, he wants to come up with solutions.

‘I think that’s what gets his juices flowing, to come up with a solution to a problem that he encounters and more often than not he comes up with one.’

Dean Smith is looking forward to seeing so many English talents on show in Sunday’s game

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