So after major doubts and speculation, Aston Villa’s FA Cup third round tie against Liverpool on Friday night will go ahead as scheduled.
An outbreak at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground left the match in serious jeopardy, but it has now been confirmed that the match will take place, with Villa set to field a team full of players from their U23s and U18s set-up.
And with Dean Smith also set to be absent from the game, Mark Delaney is set to take the reins at Villa Park, and it will be a very youthful looking line-up that he puts out tonight.
With that in mind, below is a look at just how Villa could take to the field.
Delaney’s hand is also likely to be even further restricted by the fact some of the club’s brightest young talents may have been involved in first-team training in recent days and would therefore also be unavailable for the game.
That will no doubt see someone like Jacob Ramsey also fail to make the team for today, with Delaney by and large sticking to the majority of those who played for the U23s and below.
In goal, Akos Onodi, who has been first-choice for the reserves this season is likely to make his senior debut, with a back-four of Kaine Kesler, Dominic Revan, Mungo Bridge and Ben Chrisene in front of him – Chrisene, the left-back could be the youngest player on show tonight at just 16 years of age.
Villa could feature a very highly-rated midfield, with Lamar Bogarde a summer arrival from Eredisivie giants Feyernoord. Alongside the 17-year-old Dutchman, Mamadou Sylla and Carney Chukwuemeka may start too.
Out wide, Tyreik Wright and Jaden Philogene-Bidace – who has been linked with an exit from Villa Park – could play, with young striker Louie Barry surely deserving of a chance up front too.
It all means that Villa will have an entire starting eleven who will be making their senior debuts for the club.
Predicted XI: Onodi, Kesler, Revan, Bridge, Chrisene; Bogarde, Sylla, Chukwuemeka; Wright, Barry, Philogene-Bidace.