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Villama Preview: Aston Villa v Leicester City

Aston Villa brush off a silver lined 2-1 loss to Manchester City and welcome Leicester City to Villa Park, with Steven Gerrard facing off against former Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers.

“I’m Villa ‘till I die, I’m Villa ‘till I die! I know I am, I’m sure I am, I’m Villa ‘till I die!”. Aston Villa didn’t capture three points, or even one, but our Villans gave us nothing to be ashamed of in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City on Wednesday evening.

Moving on to this Sunday as Villa host Leicester City, the lineup should remain largely similar with a few questions here and there. Emi Martinez cuts a reassuring silhouette in goal while Matt Target plays on the left of the defense and Matty Cash flanks the right. Between the two at center back are Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konza.

Competition for starting spots gets a bit thicker in the midfield. Marvelous Nakamba looks to continue his fantastic run of play alongside John McGinn and Douglas Luiz. Morgan Sanson and Jacob Ramsey are both quite capable coming off the bench. It feels a little harsh to put Luiz ahead of Ramsey considering how well the latter has played this season, but Luiz is too good not to start.

Leon Bailey is out with a reoccurring thigh injury, opening up the door for Anwar El Ghazi to start on the left wing while Emi Buendia will play on the right. Ollie Watkins should start at striker considering his promising form as of late.

Aston Villa v Leicester City - Premier League
FLASHBACK: Leicester City ran away 2-1 winners in last season’s fixture at Villa Park — can Villa change their fortunes this time around?
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Leicester City are something of an inspirational club. Aspirational to Villa in some respects, as hard as that is to admit. That being the case, it’s hard to say anything too snarky about them. Over the last three league games, the Foxes most recently held Southampton to a 2-2 draw at Saint Mary’s, bested Watford 4-2, and had their lunch handed to them to the tune of a 3-0 loss to Chelsea. Players to be aware of include James Madison and Wilfred Ndidi in midfield and Jamie Vardy (9 goals on the season thus) at striker.

PREDICTION: This game feels like it could go either way, but Steven Gerrard has Aston Villa playing well and even with a recent loss to City, there doesn’t look to be any dip in form. If momentum can be maintained and built upon, a 2-1 win could be well within reach for the Villans.

Aston Villa Training and Press Conference
Could Emi Buendia make the difference against Leicester?
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images