Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. Arsenal: two major changes made as £65m duo return to starting XI

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The latest Aston Villa team news, injury updates and predicted XI for Sunday’s away game with Premier League rivals Arsenal.

Aston Villa will be hoping to reclaim a spot in the top four of the Premier League this weekend as they continue their quest for Champions League football next season. The Villans are currently fifth in the table, level on points with Tottenham Hotspur but with an inferior goal difference having played one game more.

Last time out, Unai Emery’s men dropped points to struggling Brentford, and have now won just one of their past five top flight outings. Standing in their way on Sunday are league leaders Arsenal, who returned to the summit last weekend following Liverpool’s draw with Manchester United. The Gunners are still yet to lose in the Premier League in 2024.

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But how will both sides line up at the Emirates? We’ve taken a closer look at their respective team news, as well as their predicted starting XIs, below...

Aston Villa Team News

Villa have a number of injury concerns to contend with as they head into the weekend. Boubacar Kamara, Emi Buendia, and Tyrone Mings all remain sidelined with long term knee issues, with none of the trio expected to feature again this season. That being said, earlier this week, Emery did deliver a positive update on Buendia and Mings’ rehabilitation process, stating: ‘The injured players we have are Tyrone and Emi Buendia. They are progressing well [and] starting to be on the field.'

Elsewhere, Jacob Ramsey is also out for the campaign. In a press conference last week, Emery explained: 'Jacob is again with some problems in his toe, he is not going to be available for the rest of the season.'

In defence, Matty Cash is unlikely to feature having missed the midweek win over LOSC Lille with a thigh injury. Addressing the Poland international’s absence, Emery said: 'The last player who has some problems and is unavailable for tomorrow is Cash, who is working alone. He is close to practising with us.' In more optimistic news, however, Clement Lenglet could be available once again, and will face a late assessment before it is decided whether or not he has fully overcome an unspecified ‘small problem’.

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Villa’s only other expected absence is influential midfielder Douglas Luiz. The Brazilian picked up a 10th yellow card of the season against Brentford, and will not be eligible for selection in the Premier League until the home clash against Chelsea on April 27th.

Aston Villa Predicted XI

Emiliano Martinez; Ezri Konsa, Pau Torres, Diego Carlos, Alex Moreno; Leon Bailey, Youri Tielemans, John McGinn, Morgan Rogers; Moussa Diaby, Ollie Watkins.

Arsenal Team News

In direct contrast to their visitors, Arsenal currently have a remarkably clean bill of health. Indeed, barring any late injuries sustained in training or the like, Mikel Arteta is expected to have a near full contingent to pick a side from this weekend, with the only probable absence being Dutch defender Jurrien Timber.

The summer signing suffered an ACL injury on the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign and has been sidelined ever since, but is making good progress towards a comeback, and could even be in contention to feature at some point before the end of the season. Speaking about his player at the beginning of the month, Arteta said: 'He’s doing very well; he’s back training. He’s not far off, but the thing is that last step. He hasn’t played any minutes, so does he need a game with the U21s. I think he has a good chance [of playing again this season].'

Arsenal Predicted XI

David Raya; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Jakub Kiwior; Declan Rice, Jorginho, Martin Ødegaard; Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz, Gabriel Martinelli.

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