After bouncing back to winning ways in the Premier League last weekend, Aston Villa will be hoping to cause an upset when they make the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon to face Manchester United.
Dean Smith’s side blew Everton away last time out with a second-half salvo as Leon Bailey stole the show with a remarkable cameo which saw him have a hand in two goals before being forced off with injury.
The Jamaica international will not be a part of the travelling party to Manchester, though, and Smith will have some big decisions to make on his starting line-up, especially after a couple of players in particular impressed in the midweek Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Chelsea.
With that in mind, here is a look at how Villa might line up when they take on United. We anticipate seven changes from the line-up at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Emi Martinez should return in between the sticks after sitting out the cup game against the Blues on Wednesday, while Villa are likely to revert to a back four in the absence of Axel Tuanzebe, who is ineligible to face his parent club.
While the likes of Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings will form the majority of that defence, there remains a question mark over Matt Targett’s availability after a supposed adductor injury. That could see Ashley Young keep his place at left-back from the game against Chelsea.
In midfield, John McGinn is unlikely to play a part given concussion protocols, so that could see Jacob Ramsey partner Douglas Luiz in the engine room.
Further forward, with Bailey out until after the October international break according to Smith, it might be the right time for Bertrand Traore to remind everyone of his abilities. He could be joined by Emi Buendia, who got a runout in midweek, with the £13m-rated Anwar El Ghazi – who came under real fire from some Villa fans on Wednesday – dropped to the bench.
Up top, Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings will hope to develop their fledgling partnership even further at Old Trafford.
Predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; Luiz, Ramsey; Traore, Buendia, Watkins; Ings.