Leon Bailey axed in two changes: Aston Villa predicted XI v Brighton
Unai Emery is expected to make two changes to his Aston Villa starting lineup for the Premier League showdown against Brighton at Villa Park on Sunday (28 May).
The Villans arrive into the clash on the back of their hard-earned 1-1 draw against Liverpool last weekend, which left them one point above Spurs in the Premier League with a game remaining.
Aston Villa need to better the results of both Tottenham and Brentford to confirm their spot in the Europa Conference League next season.
Emi Martinez is expected to remain in between the sticks for Emery and build upon his brilliant 2022/23 campaign which has included a total of 95 saves. [Premier League]
In the heart of defence, Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings will continue their exceptional partnership, with main competitor Diego Carlos a slight injury risk. Mings arrives into the clash on the back of his colossal performance against Liverpool that included 10 clearances, five interceptions and two tackles. [SofaScore]
Injury Expert Ben Dinnery has shared that Alex Moreno is ruled out of the clash with a thigh injury, so Lucas Digne is expected to keep his spot at left back following his 3-tackle showing against the Reds.
Meanwhile, the first of Emery’s changes is set to be on the other flank with, Ashley Young coming in for Matty Cash. The Villa veteran, who sits in the 90th percentile of Premier League full-backs for dribblers tackled (1.64 per 90), will be key to stopping the threat of Kaoru Mitoma on the wing. [FBREF]
In midfield, Boubacar Kamara will be tasked with shielding the Villa defence after completing seven tackles against Liverpool last time out and will play alongside Brazilian Douglas Luiz.
On the left side of the midfield four, Jacob Ramsey, who was awarded the Premier League Academy Graduate of 2022/23 this week, will look to build upon his six goals and five assists this season, with John McGinn starting on the right.
In attack, the form of Ollie Watkins remains a concern after six games without a goal and a performance against Liverpool which included just eight completed passes and one shot on goal, but the lack of alternative options means he remains up front.
He will be paired with diminutive Argentine Emi Buendia, who comes into the team to replace Leon Bailey.
Bailey struggled in his 53-minute showing against the Reds, accumulating an expected goals total of just 0.05xG and 15 touches of the football, so he will subsequently be dropped to the bench and likely used in the latter stages of the encounter.
In other Aston Villa news, a three-man La Liga blitz may be on the cards amid a potential reunion for Emery.