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Aston Villa: Team news and predicted XI ahead of Leicester City clash

Aston Villa will be looking to make it three wins in four under new manager Steven Gerrard as they host Midlands rivals Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.

The West Midlands side have been excellent since the 41-year-old’s appointment, beating Brighton 2-0 and Crystal Palace 2-1 before narrowly losing 2-1 to Manchester City on Wednesday evening.

Gerrard is expected to be without striker Danny Ings once again as well as left-back Matt Targett who suffered a head injury against City. Winger Leon Bailey was also withdrawn against the reigning champions, however, he will be sidelined for “a number of weeks” after suffering a thigh injury.

Their opponents, however, aren’t in the best form, winning just one of their last five Premier League outings. However, they are only three points off of the top six in tenth.

However, there is certainly an opportunity for Villa to capitalise on and take another three points against Brendan Rodgers’ side. Here’s how Football FanCast expects the Villans to line up against the Foxes, with just two changes from the side that lost out to Manchester City.

As expected, there’s no change in between the sticks as Emi Martinez maintains his rather unchallenged spot in goal, looking for a second clean sheet in four games.

There will be one change in the back four in front of the Argentine, with Ashley Young replacing the injured Matt Targett; a straightforward swap at left-back. The 36-year-old will be accompanied by Tyrone Mings, Ensri Konsa and Matty Cash in defence.

With Gerrard maintaining his preferred 4-3-3 formation, the midfield will be key and there appears to be no reason as to why the central trio that started against City should be tinkered with here. Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn are expected to link up once again in the middle of the park.

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The second change sees 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka deployed out wide for just his second Premier League start and his first in over three months. The £2.25m-rated youngster has reportedly rejected a new contract amidst frustration with a lack of first-team action.

However, Gerrard brought the Englishman on for 23 minutes against Manchester City on Wednesday night and could be tempted to hand the midfielder a start.

With both Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore sidelined for the foreseeable future, an opportunity against Leicester could be the start of Gerrard’s bid to convince the starlet to sign a new contract at Villa Park.

Alongside Chukwuemeka up front should be Emi Buendia on the other flank and Ollie Watkins at striker after his goal against Manchester City on Wednesday. Straightforward enough.

Article title: Aston Villa: Team news and predicted XI ahead of Leicester City clash

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