Smith makes 11 changes, 19 y/o and forgotten man start: Predicted Villa XI vs Stoke – opinion

Hands up if you predicted Aston Villa’s stunning start to the new season.

Dean Smith’s side have begun the 2020/2021 campaign like a house on fire, with two wins from two in the Premier League, and safely making it into tonight’s Carabao Cup last 16 clash against Stoke City.

But with a game against reigning Premier League champions Liverpool coming on Sunday, it will be no surprise to see Smith ring the changes as he looks to keep his usual starting eleven fresh for the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s juggernauts.

And with that in mind, below is a look at how Villa could line up for their match against Stoke.

Aston Villas predicted line up vs Stoke - Smith makes 11 changes, 19 y/o and forgotten man start: Predicted Villa XI vs Stoke - opinion

In goal, Jed Steer is likely to take over goalkeeping duties from summer signing Emiliano Martinez, with the 28-year-old keeping a clean sheet last time out against Bristol City.

Smith could be boosted for Thursday night’s game with the return of forgotten man Bjorn Engels, who has been missing from action for the past few months with an injury. The central defender hasn’t featured in a match-day squad for Villa since the clash against Leicester way back in March, but having seemingly recovered from his thigh problems, could well get a run-out against Stoke.

Engels is likely to be joined by Kortney Hause alongside him, with Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor occupying the right and left-back slots respectively.

In midfield, 19-year-old starlet Jacob Ramsey is likely to get another chance to impress Smith, with Marvelous Nakamba and former Arsenal youngster Henri Lansbury completing a midfield three.

And having scored on his debut against Bristol City last time in the Carabao Cup, Bertrand Traore is surely set to make his home debut for Villa, with Anwar El Ghazi and Keinan Davis joining him in attack.

Predicted XI: Steer; Elmohamady, Hause, Engels, Taylor; Ramsey, Nakamba, Lansbury; Traore, El Ghazi, Davis.

And in other news, Aston Villa must make this transfer move before the end of the deadline.

The post Aston Villa’s predicted line-up to face Stoke in the Carabao Cup first appeared on FootballFanCast.com.

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