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Villama Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa

Following up and down performances against Manchester United, Unai Emery takes his Lions to Brighton to face off against the Albion. With Emi Martinez back in goal, will Aston Villa return to their newfound winning ways?

The joy of a 3-1 victory over Manchester United, one that ended a 27 year drought, was quickly tempered by a frustrating performance in a 4-2 loss against the same Red Devils in League Cup action. Moving on to this week, the Villa square up against Brighton & Hove Albion. Over their last three matches, the seventh placed team in the table have bested Wolverhampton 3-2 at Molineux, took out Chelsea 4-1 at the Amex, and lost to Manchester City 3-1 at the Etihad. Top players to look out for include, but shouldn’t be limited to forward Leandro Trossard (7 goals and 2 assists on the season), midfielder Pascal Grob (5 goals and 2 assists), and midfielder Alexis MacAllister (4 assists).

For Villa this week, there shouldn’t be too many changes, if any, from the better of the United matches. Emi Martinez returns in gosl, with Lucas Digne at left-back and Matty Cash at right-back. Partnering at center-back should be Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa — I’d like to see a Mings and Calum Chambers partnership, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Further up in the holding portion of midfield, we’re likely to see Leander Dendoncker partnering with Douglas Luiz. Boubacar Kamara could supplant Dendoncker, or Luiz for that matter, and a Dendoncker/Kamara partnership is intriguing, but it’s likely to be Dendoncker and Luiz. Joining them in more advanced midfield positions will be Jacob Ramsey and Emi Buendia. Partnering up front will be Ollie Watkins and the currently on-fire Leon Bailey.

: While it’s the kind of match that you’d pencil in as a loss in weeks gone by, the arrival of Unai Emery has been a revelation. It’s a little optimistic, but I think a 2-1 Villa win sounds good here.

Aston Villa Training Session
How important could Emi Buendia prove to be against a a well structured Brighton side?
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images