Aston Villa are given a break from the Premier League on Tuesday night as they face League Two outfit Crewe Alexandra in the Carabao Cup.
Top-flight teams that aren’t in European competitions this season enter at this early second round stage but it may be an opportunity for Villa to rest a number of their key players with a trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The sheer gulf in talent between the Premier League and League Two is enough to suggest that Dean Smith’s fringe players should complete the job required of them on Tuesday night.
But who will feature? Here’s what we are predicting:
There could quite easily be an entire shift in the starting XI but we expect one or two may keep their places – most notably Trezeguet who is still yet to record a goal or assist so if he could get one in this match that would certainly give him confidence going forward.
Speaking of forwards, Wesley may be given a rest in favour of Keinan Davis who has impressed the Villa boss during pre-season whilst Anwar El Ghazi’s goal on Friday night may give him the edge over Jota to start.
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Defensively, a number of debuts could be given.
Matt Targett is yet to start a match for his new club after joining from Southampton in the summer, he may replace Neil Taylor in a move that could be seen as a ‘go out and show why you should be starting.’
Ahmed Elmohamady could come back into the starting XI after being dropped for Frederic Guilbert on Friday.
Ezri Konsa, a £12m addition, hasn’t been able to feature yet this season and last season’s loan man Kortney Hause is in a similar scenario so these two could replace Bjorn Engels and Tyrone Mings with Jed Steer, who saved a penalty in the playoffs, being handed the shot-stopping responsibilities.
Jack Grealish, John McGinn, and Douglas Luiz are all unlikely to be risked for a fixture like this so Marvelous Nakamba could also earn his debut with Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury coming back into the starting lineup.