Following on from their 2-2 draw against Manchester United in their previous Premier League outing that saw Aston Villa crawl back from being 2-0 down to secure a point, Steven Gerrard takes his side to Goodison Park this afternoon to take on Everton in their latest league clash.
Having sacked Rafa Benitez after their 2-1 defeat against Norwich City last weekend, Duncan Ferguson will be leading Everton in his first game as caretaker manager to try and get their season back on track.
In terms of Villa and which players Gerrard could select to be in his starting XI, with Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet still away on international duty and Marvelous Nakamba and Leon Bailey still out through injury, Villa are also sweating on the fitness of defender Ezri Konsa after he picked up a hip issue in the draw against the Red Devils last weekend.
With that in mind, here’s how we fee Villa will line up today.
In goal, having played in all but one of Villa’s Premier League games so far this season and recently putting pen to paper on a new deal with the Midlands club, it’d be hard not to see Emi Martinez start this afternoon.
For the full-back positions, we think Gerrard will stick with the same pair that started against United with Matty Cash on the right and January signing Lucas Digne on the left once again.
In the centre-back roles, Gerrard may not feel it’s worth the risk putting Konsa back in so we think he’ll stick with Tyrone Mings and put Kortney Hause in, who, like Martinez, has recently signed a new deal at the club.
In midfield, with John McGinn back after serving a one-match ban in the game against United, we think Gerrard will have no issue in putting him back straight back in the side with Morgan Sanson dropping out.
Next to McGinn we can see Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey playing in midfield to try and provide some stability and control against the Toffees.
For the attack, we think Gerrard will give Philippe Coutinho his first start in a Villa shirt on the left-wing after making a big impact off the bench on his debut against United by scoring their crucial equalising goal.
Then finally we predict that Gerrard will make a big decision and drop Danny Ings, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £100k-per-week according to Salary Sport, from the side with Ollie Watkins playing through the middle with Emi Buendia on the right.