Aston Villa face Brisbane Roar in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday, and Steven Gerrard is expected to make a number of changes to his starting line-up.
Villa began our pre-season tour of Australia with a win over Leeds Utd on Sunday, but as is the nature of this time of year, there was an almost entirely different XI in each half as Gerrard shared minutes out looking to get everyone fully fit.
With that in mind, the Villa boss is expected to do similar in midweek against Brisbane Roar, although the starting XI will look significantly different to the one which started last time out.
Emi Martinez is expected to come back in between the posts, while youngster Kaine Kesler-Hayden could get an opportunity having not featured on Sunday.
Diego Carlos and Tyrone Mings could get the nod in central defence, but with Gerrard confirming that Ezri Konsa has returned to full training after recovering from a knee injury, he will be desperate to get some minutes in the second half and build his match fitness.
Summer signing Ludwig Augustinsson may well get his first appearance for Villa with Lucas Digne getting a rest, and while John McGinn could start again, Tim Iroegbunam and Morgan Sanson will hope to make the starting line-up on this occasion as Gerrard rotates his options.
Emi Buendia came off the bench against Leeds and he’ll likely switch with Philippe Coutinho for this one, while Cameron Archer will be itching to get another chance to impress after scoring in our win over Walsall last week. Bertrand Traore is another player who needs minutes, and so this could be the ideal game for that to happen.
It will be interesting to see what Gerrard goes with, as while he will want to give everyone minutes to reach peak fitness, he will also want his likely XI for our Premier League season opener against Bournemouth to be fully ready and settled in the side.
Expect plenty of half-time changes once more, but this is a strong Villa XI that will hopefully show we’ve got plenty of depth this season to compete on multiple fronts, while certain individuals will undoubtedly want to make it even more difficult for Gerrard and push for a starting berth next month.
Aston Villa predicted XI vs Brisbane Roar: Martinez; Kesler Hayden, Diego Carlos, Mings, Augustinsson; McGinn, Iroegbunam, Sanson; Traore, Archer, Buendia.