Aston Villa host West Ham Utd on Sunday as Steven Gerrard looks to build on our win in the Carabao Cup in midweek and get back to winning ways in the Premier League.
It’s been a disappointing start for Villa in the league with two defeats from our opening three games, and so with the pressure building to get things right, Gerrard will be eager to see a strong performance from his team.
Confidence will have been boosted with our win at Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night as we advanced to the third round of the Carabao Cup, and so now it’s about building momentum and belief in the upcoming fixtures as we face a difficult stretch of games.
Having opted against making wholesale changes in midweek and instead named a strong XI, Gerrard will arguably go with something similar this weekend, but there could still be two key changes from the side that faced Crystal Palace a week ago.
Chambers to replace Konsa
With Ezri Konsa struggling to find his best form to start the season combined with Chambers getting a start in midweek to build his match fitness and sharpness, the latter could get the nod on Sunday.
Tyrone Mings is a certainty to start next to one of them given his strong form over the last three games since coming back into the side, while Matty Cash and Lucas Digne will be expected to continue in the full-back roles with that quartet ahead of Emiliano Martinez in between the posts.
In turn, the Konsa-Chambers decision is the main one for Gerrard in defence, and based on what we’ve seen over the last fortnight, it would come as no surprise if Chambers is named in the Villa line-up.
Buendia in for Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho was given a chance to find some form in midweek and although he did look dangerous at times, he was still missing the quality needed to be decisive with his final ball.
Having been dropped at Palace in favour of Emiliano Buendia, it’s hoped that the same will happen this weekend as the Argentine will bring much-needed energy, intensity and creativity to the side which has been lacking in our performances thus far when he’s not on the pitch.
It’s possible that both could start, but ultimately with Leon Bailey making a strong case with his contribution off the bench at Bolton as well, Coutinho may well have to settle for a place on the bench alongside Danny Ings, with Ollie Watkins leading the line.
Midfield changes unlikely?
Despite poor form and a struggle to be influential, it would come as no surprise if Gerrard stuck with the same midfield trio of John McGinn, Boubacar Kamara and Jacob Ramsey.
McGinn has been well off his previous high standards while Ramsey has been largely quiet to start the new campaign, and so Douglas Luiz in particular will be hopeful of displacing one of them having scored in midweek and added much-needed composure and technical quality in that area of the pitch.
However, these concerns aren’t anything new and yet Gerrard still persists with the same individuals, and so they could get yet another chance to impress but McGinn should be under pressure to up his performances in the upcoming games as captaincy or no captaincy, his place in the XI should be enter threat if he’s not delivering.
– Douglas Luiz in?
– Will Gerrard go with that attacking trident or will we see Coutinho and Ings instead?
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) August 27, 2022