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Brad Guzan benched by Aston Villa

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Stu Forster/Getty Images

Brad Guzan is no longer Aston Villa's No. 1 goalkeeper. The American has been dropped by Remi Garde as Villa tries to improve at the back and find a way out of the relegation zone.

Guzan did not start for the Villans over the weekend in the FA Cup fourth round, with Mark Bunn instead placed into the starting lineup. At the time, it looked like Garde could just be handing the Cup duties to Bunn, especially against a weak side like Wycombe, but Guzan is back on the bench in the Premier League against Crystal Palace. This is no longer a matter of giving the backup a game to stay sharp, or Guzan a break to rest. Garde has opted for Bunn, in the Cup and league, and right now he has at least a claim to the starting job.

Garde has not yet spoken about his goalkeeping situation and who will be his starter going forward. It is possible that Guzan is back in goal before long, and we'll have to see how Bunn plays, but Guzan is clearly being challenged, and for good reason. The American has been in poor form and Villa have plummeted to the bottom of the Premier League. That's not all on Guzan, or close to it, but he's struggled with the rest of the team.

It will be interesting to see how Jurgen Klinsmann handles things going forward. Right now, Guzan is supposed to be battling with Tim Howard for the United States' starting job, but what if Guzan isn't his club's starter? That was the case last year and Klinsmann stuck with Guzan, but Howard was on sabbatical from international soccer at the time. Now he is back and provides an alternative to a benched Guzan. Then again, Howard hasn't played well for Everton this season either.