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Aston Villa team news, injury update & predicted XI vs Stevenage

Aston Villa will host Stevenage at Villa Park this afternoon in their FA Cup third-round clash and Unai Emery will be hoping to continue to transform the team’s fate by progressing to the next round of the competition.

The former Villarreal boss has picked up points in four of his first six games since taking over from Steven Gerrard in November but was knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Manchester United, so there is no doubt Emery will want to give the Villa supporters hope of silverware with a successful performance today.

In terms of injuries, John McGinn is currently being assessed for a thigh problem and Diego Carlos continues his recovery from a long-term injury that has seen him unavailable since August.

However, Villa are poised to welcome back Jacob Ramsey as Emery suggested in his pre-match press conference that the young midfielder could be back in contention.

With that in mind, this is how Football FanCast predicts Aston Villa will line up against Stevenage…

Robin Olsen (GK), Ludwig Augustinsson (LB), Tyrone Mings (CB), Calum Chambers (CB), Matty Cash (RB), Leander Dendoncker (CM), Jacob Ramsey (CM), Morgan Sanson (CM), Danny Ings (ST), Leon Bailey (RW), Philippe Coutinho (LW).

We expect to see eight changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week, with Emery mixing first-team experience with fringe players who are rarely seen in the Villa starting XI.

The first three changes we predict to see are Ludwig Augustinsson and Calum Chambers joining Matty Cash and Tyrone Mings in the back four this afternoon, with Cash moving back into his right-back position to replace Ashley Young, Augustinsson getting the nod over Lucas Digne and Chambers replacing Ezri Konsa.

In midfield, we expect to see a full transformation with Ramsey reprising his role ahead of Emi Buendia after returning from injury, and he features alongside Leander Dendoncker and Morgan Sanson.

In the final third, Leon Bailey keeps his spot in the starting side with Philippe Coutinho joining the Jamaican forward in the front three, whilst Danny Ings comes into the team in the final change to the attacking threat.

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Ings will replace Watkins with Emery likely to rest the £75k-per-week forward – who was hailed a “top player” by Michael Owen – by taking advantage of his quality rotation in the centre-forward position.

The eighth and final change we predict is Robin Olsen coming in for Emi Martinez as Emery will surely want to reward the ‘keeper for his contributions when the World Cup winner was unavailable due to the celebrations that followed.