Aston Villa are back in action on Saturday with an early afternoon Premier League clash against Arsenal at Villa Park as Steven Gerrard’s side will be looking to bounce back after their 2-1 defeat against West Ham United last weekend.
The north London club will also be heading into Saturday’s match off the back of a defeat after losing 2-0 at home to Liverpool in midweek.
As things currently stand, the Gunners are five places and 15 points ahead of the Villans in the league table, with one game in hand on the Midlands club.
In terms of which players Gerrard could select in starting XI to take on Arsenal, one man who didn’t start at the London Stadium last weekend but we feel should be in from the beginning this time around is Leon Bailey.
However, since recovering from a thigh injury in February, the £28.8m-rated winger has only appeared in four of Villa’s six previous league games, coming off the substitutes’ bench on all four occasions, which shows that he has struggled to get in the starting XI.
His latest performance off the bench against West Ham saw him make the most of his time on the pitch by making eight passes (including one key pass) and setting up one big chance for his team, also having one shot on target, completing one dribble, winning four of his six duels and making one tackle for good measure.
This 21-minute display ultimately earned the attacker – who has been claimed “can do anything” by former Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich – an overall match rating of 7.4/10, which is higher than nine of the Villa players who started the game according to SofaScore.
With this in mind and after Villa’s defeat last weekend, that could persuade Gerrard to make some changes to his team tomorrow, paving the way for Bailey to come back in and show what he can do against tough opposition rather than someone like Emi Buendia, who the Villa boss may see as an impact substitute once again after providing the assist for Jacob Ramsey last Sunday.