Without reading previous posts too much, playing as Villa myself, I sit top after 25 games, this is what and who I have found useful.
Pick players based off training.
O'Hare and Doyle Hayes are actually sneaky good youngsters for playmaking ability, find a way to get one in at CM as DLP Support.
Rotate heavily, keeping players fresh seems to be key and we have an ideal squad for it. Also set the defensive line slightly lower, I found I was being beat over the top almost every game.
Finally I would reduce tempo and passing range, opposition teams let Villa have a lot of the ball on the game, and its about slowly breaking them down rather than just running and losing the ball.
I play Vertical tika taka but all the above should help you as well.
Let me know how you get on.