Aston Villa will be playing their first match under Steven Gerrard this weekend and all eyes will be on the team selection by the new boss.
Villa face a buoyant Brighton side on Saturday and given that all the players are starting with a clean slate, this starting line up could hint a lot at which players are going to be the favourites for Gerrard.
Aston Villa have been in really poor form this season, losing each one of their previous six matches so the first job for the new boss will be to atleast pick up a point.
The home side are agonisingly close to the relegation zone meaning anything other than a win could push them into the bottom three of the Premier League. Yes, Steven Gerrard will be given time to sort things out but if Aston Villa drop into the relegation zone then it will be a totally different sort of pressure for the ex-Rangers man, something which he would have never felt in Scotland.
Aston Villa team news and injury updates vs Brighton:
Steven Gerrard’s favourite formation at Rangers used to be a simple 4-3-3 with two wingers and we think he is going to stick with the tried and tested this weekend.
Steven Gerrard’s first session as Villa coach 📸 pic.twitter.com/QJVkGY2jTu
— 35Pitch (@35Pitch) November 15, 2021
Ezri Konsa returns from suspension and he will come straight into the starting line up – pairing up with Tyrone Mings while the two full-backs remain the same from the Southampton game.
The midfield area though will be a major cause of concern for the manager since Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba are both major doubts for this game.
Luiz is out with a hamstring injury while Nakamba picked up a groin issue during the 1-0 loss to Southampton. If these two players miss out then Gerrard might have to put his faith in Morgan Sanson, a player who’s not played a league game this year.
Apart from this one key issue, everything other department is very much sorted with Danny Ings returning to full fitness. Bertrand Traoré could also make a comeback this weekend but we don’t think the manager will use him.
Steven Gerrard is set for meetings with Emi Buendia & Leon Bailey this week & tell them to step up following the start to the season [ @LHatfield_Star ]
— Total Villa (@Total_Villa) November 18, 2021
Ollie Watkins is likely to operate down the left flank so summer signings Buendia and Leon Bailey will have to fight it out for the right winger’s role.
Aston Villa predicted line up vs Brighton:
Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): Martinez; Targett, Tyrone Mings, Konsa, Cash; John McGinn, Morgan Sanson, Ramsey; Ollie Watkins, Buendia/Bailey, Danny Ings.
Stats via Fotmob