Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. Everton: Five changes made amid doubts over £32m defender

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All the latest team news, injury updates and predicted XI ahead of Aston Villa's match against Everton in the Premier League.

Aston Villa will be on the hunt for a third consecutive win when they travel to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon to take on an Everton side who haven’t won any of their last five matches – but while the form guide appears to favour Unai Emery’s side, they may have to get the job done without up to seven first-team players.

In addition to the damage done by long-term injuries and the absence of Bertrand Traoré thanks to the Africa Cup of Nations, there are very real doubts over the fitness of Pau Torres and Youri Tielemans. The two teams have already faced each other twice this season, with Aston Villa winning 4-0 in at Villa Park in the league but also losing 2-1 at home in the third round of the EFL Cup, so they will be aware that Sean Dyche’s side are no pushovers – especially if important players are absent.

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We’ve rounded up all of the latest team news and injury updates below for you, and hazarded a best guess at the starting eleven the Villans will line up with on Merseyside this weekend.

Goalkeeper & Defence

Having missed two games in December thanks to an ankle injury sustained against Brentford, Spanish centre-half Torres was brought off the bench against Burnley in Villa’s last league game – but suffered consequences for it. Emery said of Torres that “at the end of the match he was feeling worse than before,” and as a result he was left out of the squad for the FA Cup third round win at Middlesbrough.

Emery did say prior to the match at the Riverside that he expected Torres to be ready to face Everton, but we haven’t had any updates since then – but the expectation is that he will be available to play at least some part. Lucas Digne, however, will almost certainly miss out thanks to a hamstring injury he sustained in the Boxing Day defeat to Manchester United. He should be back in early February, while Robin Olsen remains out with an unspecified knock – there is little public information about the goalkeeper’s condition, but he does not appear to have resumed training. Tyrone Mings remains a long-term absentee courtesy of knee ligament damage.

Midfield

Summer signing Tielemans suffered a calf injury during the 1-0 win over Arsenal in December and hasn’t featured since, but the Belgian was due back in training this week. There has yet to be any word from Emery on whether he will play, however, and he seems unlikely to start.

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Elsewhere, Emiliano Buendía remains out thanks to a serious knee injury, although there is a chance that he returns to training next month. Winger Traoré has only played 10 minutes of Premier League football this season and won’t be adding to that for a few weeks at least, as he has joined up with the Burkina Faso squad for AFCON 2024 in the Ivory Coast. He will miss at least two matches and may not be back until mid-February if the Burkinabe side make a deep run in the tournament. They face Algeria, Angola and Mauritania in the group stage, and will fancy their chances of reaching the knock-out rounds.

Forwards

There are no known issues with Ollie Watkins, Moussa Diaby or Jhon Durán, so Emery will have his pick of attacking players through the centre of the park. Colombian Durán scored one of Villa’s four goals in the first fixture against Everton this season, but is unlikely to displace Watkins from the starting role.

Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. Everton

Martínez; Moreno, Carlos, Konsa, Cash; McGinn, Luiz, Kamara, Zaniolo; Diaby, Watkins.

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