How Villa could line up vs Fulham: Key Grealish decision, strong XI expected

Aston Villa return to Premier League action this weekend as we host Fulham at Villa Park on Sunday and all eyes are on Jack Grealish as to whether or not he will return.

The Villa skipper has missed the last six Premier League games due to a shin injury, but as per Dean Smith in his interview with Villa TV, he has hinted that our influential playmaker is expected to be involved against Fulham and he’ll be desperate to see him in the starting XI.

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He went on to add that this fixture was always pencilled in as a potential comeback game, and with Grealish returning to training with the rest of the group on Monday, he’ll hope to be given the green light to feature off the bench at the very least if he’s not in contention to start.

Elsewhere, Smith also confirmed that John McGinn will return to training on Friday after his goalscoring exploits with Scotland over the international break, and so he’ll be expected to have rested and recovered to start at the weekend.

The rest is largely to be as expected with Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Matt Targett set to form a backline that has helped keep 11 clean sheets in our 12 Premier League wins so far this season, with Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson and McGinn potentially making up a three-man midfield.

Bertrand Traore could get the nod on the right with Grealish returning on the opposite flank, although naturally both Trezeguet and Anwar El Ghazi will be primed to step into the starting XI if the England international isn’t passed fit enough to start following his long layoff.

Fresh from his goalscoring debut with England, Ollie Watkins will undoubtedly lead the line for Villa, and there was more positive news this past week with Wesley stepping up his recovery from injury and so he could be pushing for a place on the bench in the coming weeks.

Predicted Villa line-up vs Fulham: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Sanson, Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Watkins, Grealish.