Aston Villa have several talented players to call upon against Derby but it may be John McGinn who is the most capable of flying under the radar to steal the show.
The 24-year-old Villans midfielder, who has 14 caps for Scotland, is at times wrongly overlooked and this is once again the case going into the Championship play-off final.
The media and pundits tend to focus on his Villans teammate Jack Grealish as potentially being the one the Rams have to watch out for, but that might not be the case.
While Derby could aim to mark Grealish out of the game, just like Fulham did at Wembley last season, it might leave McGinn with enough space to work his magic.
The Villans midfielder has scored eight goals and assisted 12 in his 48 appearances for Dean Smith’s side this season, and it would be no surprise for him to deliver the goods at Wembley.
Aside from Grealish perhaps stealing Derby’s focus, there’s another reason why McGinn is the X factor for the Villans going into the play-off final and Don Goodman highlights it perfectly.
The pundit remarked on McGinn when sharing that he thought the 24-year-old goal in the 2-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday was his pick for Championship goal of the season.
Goodman claimed that he was choosing McGinn’s goal ahead of the other nominees as he could try to replicate it a thousand times and still not pull it off.
“John McGinn, reason being if I try that a thousand times I might not pull it off once, all the others I might just, but never with that one,” said Goodman on Sky Sports’ Championship Play-Off Preview Show(Friday May 24th, 19:17).
Goodman’s words reflect the fact McGinn is capable of the unexpected on his day and given that Derby would be able to do nothing to stop him if he pulled out a similar shot again, it shows he is the X factor.