Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. Brentford: seven changes made as £28m star returns while key duo suspended

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All the latest Aston Villa team news, injury updates and predicted XI ahead of their Premier League match against Brentford.

High-flying Aston Villa will be hopeful of continuing their surge up the Premier League table this weekend, when they travel to London to take on Brentford. Unai Emery's side have been in sensational form of late, with their streak of impressive results seeing them head into the weekend just two points off top spot. While it's far too early to talk of a Villa title challenge in December, a top four finish could well be within their grasp, and they'll be looking to finish 2023 still within the all important Champions League spots.

Villa were held to a 1-1 draw in midweek against Bosnia and Herzegovinian side HSK Zrinjski Mostar, which rounded off the group stages of the Europa Conference League. A weakened, heavily rotated side was fielded, given that Emery's side had already topped Group E with a game to spare.

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Ahead of Sunday afternoon's encounter at the Gtech Community stadium, we've rounded up the latest Villa team news and injury updates, as well as having crack at predicting the starting XI Emery will name:

Aston Villa injury news

While a number of their top four rivals such as Spurs and Newcastle United continue to see swathes of players struck down by injury, Villa have ridden out the early stages of winter relatively well in terms of dealing with absentees. Tyrone Mings is the only Villa defender currently suffering from injury, but is still a long way off making his return after suffering significant damage to his knee back in August.

In midfield, Bertrand Traore looks highly likely to miss out with a knock, while former Norwich City talisman Emi Buendia isn't expected to feature for the Villans until at least February, as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury. Other than that, it's a clean bill of health for Villa - which is notable given the rigorous demands of being involved in both the Europa Conference League and the Premier League.

Aston Villa team news and injury updates

While they may be largely free of injury concerns, two suspensions have thrown a spanner in the works ahead of Villa's trip to the capital - defender Lucas Digne won't return until next weekend, and neither will midfielder Douglas Luiz, who has been heavily linked with a January move away from Villa Park.

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In goal, World Cup winner Emi Martinez will start, returning to the side alongside a number of stars rested in midweek. Ezri Konsa should hang on to his spot at right-back, with Alex Moreno set to fill in on the left due to Digne's suspension. The centre-back pairing of Diego Carlos and Pau Torres are likely to start in the heart of defence, and will be looking for another clean sheet after earning one in last weekend's triumphant 1-0 win over Arsenal.

Jacob Ramsey could be called upon to pair up with Boubacar Kamara due to Luiz's suspension, flanked by club captain John McGinn and Jamaica international Leon Bailey. Bargain summer signing Youri Tielemans may take up an advanced midfield role, with £28m super striker and Fantasy Premier League darling Ollie Watkins set to lead the line.

Aston Villa predicted XI: Martinez; Moreno, Carlos, Torres, Konsa; Bailey, Kamara, Ramsey, McGinn; Tielemans, Watkins.

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