By Jonty Banks

7th Apr, 2023 | 10:10am

Bertrand Traore restored, Alex Moreno axed - Aston Villa predicted XI v Nottingham Forest

Unai Emery is predicted to tinker with his Aston Villa starting line-up for the Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest on Saturday (8 April).

The Villans arrive into the encounter on the back of five Premier League wins in their last six outings – a run that sees them currently sit just two points off Brighton in sixth place.

Considering this is Aston Villa’s third Premier League match within a week – having defeated Chelsea and Leicester City already – a couple of changes are expected in order to freshen up the team ahead of hosting Steve Cooper’s relegation-threatened side.

Emi Martinez is expected to remain in between the sticks after recording three clean sheets in his last five appearances and recording ten saves over the last two games against the Blues and Leicester. [WhoScored]

In defence, Emery will change things up at left-back and restore Lucas Digne to the starting XI, having been left on the bench in place of Alex Moreno in recent weeks.

Despite recording two key passes and three shots in attack, the Spanish full-back failed to register a single tackle, interception or clearance in his 85-minute appearance at the King Power Stadium.

With Matty Cash still on the sidelines following an injury he sustained for Poland during the international break, Ashley Young will remain at right-back, while Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings are set to continue their burgeoning partnership in the heart of Villa’s defence.

After his masterful performance against the Foxes, that included four key passes and his first assist of the season, Emi Buendia will continue on the left side of Emery’s midfield four.

Douglas Luiz and John McGinn will tick things over in the middle of the park, while Jacob Ramsey will remain imperative to Villa’s defensive shape, having successfully completed a team-high 27 tackles over the club’s last ten Premier League games.

In attack, Bertrand Traore deserves a starting berth after coming from the bench to net Villa’s winner against Leicester in spectacular style. Before his match-winning cameo, the 27-year-old had only amassed a mere 50 minutes of Premier League action since returning to Villa Park in January.

Leon Bailey, who lost possession of the ball a whopping 18 times against Leicester, will therefore have to make do with a spot on the substitutes bench. [SofaScore]

The Burkina Faso international is expected to start beside the bang-in-form Ollie Watkins, who scored his sixth goal in as many away games in midweek and took his tally for the season to an impressive 11 goals.

In other Aston Villa news, a senior player may never feature for the club again after recent news emerges, making a summer exit very much on the cards.