How Villa could line up vs Leicester City: Two possible key changes from Gerrard

Aston Villa face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday with Steven Gerrard’s side looking to build on our draw with Man City last time out.

It was a crucial point earned against Pep Guardiola’s men after a spirited performance from Villa, and while it may well have alleviated some pressure and given us a foundation to build on and improve results, it will mean little if we don’t follow it up against Leicester firstly and Southampton next week.

READ MORE: Timely boost for Villa but Gerrard faces crucial fortnight to build on Man City draw

With question marks still hovering over Gerrard as he looks to put a poor start to the Premier League season behind him, he could be forced into one change this weekend with Matty Cash picking up a hamstring injury in our last outing, while there could potentially be a switch in midfield with Leander Dendoncker looking to make his Villa debut.

Two potential changes to Villa XI to face Leicester

Having done a superb job filling in for Cash after coming against Man City, there is an argument that Ashley Young deserves a starting spot regardless of whether or not his Villa teammate recovers in time.

Cash was expected to undergo a MRI scan this week to establish the full extent of his injury, and while we are likely to hear from Gerrard on that in his pre-match press conference on Friday, it remains to be seen if the Polish international is passed fit to feature.

Nevertheless, such was the impressive nature of Young’s shift, the Villa boss should feel pretty calm in bringing in the veteran to fill the void if required, and he’ll hopefully deliver another reliable and hard-working performance to give us some much-needed defensive solidity and experience in that area of the pitch.

Meanwhile, Villa captain John McGinn has been replaced in the last two games, lasting 75 minutes against Arsenal before coming off after 67 minutes against City, and given he is struggling to deliver his best performances and form, this could be the game that Gerrard decides to give him a break.

Leander Dendoncker missed the draw with Man City last weekend due to a throat issue, but having been pictured in training in midweek, it’s hoped that the Belgian midfielder is now available for us and he could be handed his debut on Saturday.

Gerrard has long spoken about needed more physicality and presence in certain areas of the team, and Dendoncker can provide that given his attributes and characteristics.

Time will tell if Gerrard goes with that, but the rest of the side could be largely unchanged given the performance last time out, with Emiliano Martinez, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Lucas Digne completing the backline, while Boubacar Kamara and Douglas Luiz should continue in midfield.

Naturally, Philippe Coutinho and Emiliano Buendia will be knocking on the door to be involved from the start, but given the way our front three of Jacob Ramsey, Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins was effective last weekend, Gerrard may well be tempted to stick with the same look as we go in search of three important points against the Foxes.

Aston Villa predicted XI vs Leicester City: Martinez; Young, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Dendoncker, Kamara, Douglas Luiz; Bailey, Ramsey; Watkins.