By Jonty Banks

4th Apr, 2023 | 9:45am

Emi Buendia axed, Leon Bailey restored - Aston Villa predicted XI v Leicester City

Aston Villa will look to continue their surge on the Premier League European places when they travel to Leicester City on Tuesday night (4 April).

Unai Emery’s side arrive on the back of a hard-fought 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – a longer run of four wins in their last five outings – and face a managerless Foxes side who will be recovering from the departure of Brendan Rodgers.

The Villans currently sit just two points off Brighton in sixth position in the Premier League, so Emery will be vying for three points at the King Power Stadium.

In goal, Emi Martinez will look to build upon the seven saves he made against the Blues and continue his rich vein of form in between the sticks for Villa.

The back-four, who have recorded four clean sheets in their last five games, should remain unchanged with an aim to find some continuity in what is a crucial part of the season.

Alex Moreno should pip Lucas Digne to the left-back spot after recording seven clearances and making three tackles against Chelsea last time out. On the other flank, Ashley Young is a shoo-in due to the injury to right-back alternative Matty Cash.

Despite Calum Chambers coming from the bench to great effect in the second half and making five tackles in his 45-minute cameo, Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings will keep their spots in the heart of Emery’s defence.

Boubacar Kamara will remain in central midfield despite looking a little iffy on his injury return at Stamford Bridge and only completing 72% of his passes and will be partnered by Douglas Luiz, who has recorded two goals and five assists in his 15 games under the new manager.

Although Jacob Ramsey is renowned for his offensive exploits, it was his defensive efforts which were evident versus the Blues, making five tackles during his 90-minute appearance. Considering the Englishman’s form, he will be crucial to any result claimed at Leicester on Tuesday.

On the right of midfield, John McGinn will look to build on his 25-yard screamer, which sealed the victory last time out.

In attack comes Emery’s one predicted change, with Leon Bailey coming into the starting line-up for Emi Buendia.

The diminutive Argentine struggled to impact proceedings against Chelsea, attempting just 17 passes and failing to have an effort on goal.

Considering Leicester City are likely to drop deep and invite pressure onto the Villans, the Jamaican’s pace could be an extremely useful tool to use.

He will partner the bang-in-form Ollie Watkins in attack, who has scored in each of his last five Premier League away games and netted 11 goals in all competitions this season.

In other Aston Villa news, Dan Bardell believes a loanee could consider a Villa Park exit this summer if he isn’t given first-team assurances next season.