Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. Spurs: four changes made as £30m sensation returns

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The latest Aston Villa team news, injury updates and predicted XI for Sunday's home game with Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Aston Villa's surprise push for a place in next season's Champions League faces a major test on Sunday after when fellow top four candidates Tottenham Hotspur travel to Villa Park.

Unai Emery's side head into the game sat in fourth place, five points and one place above Spurs, who do have the benefit of holding one game in hand on Villa as the final run-in to what has already been an exciting race for a place amongst European football's elite. Sunday's game will not decide who will earn a place at the top table - but there is no doubt Villa can land a sizeable blow on one of their main rivals by collecting all three points.

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Leon Bailey is relishing working with Unai Emery at Aston Villa.Leon Bailey is relishing working with Unai Emery at Aston Villa.
Leon Bailey is relishing working with Unai Emery at Aston Villa. | AFP via Getty Images

Emery has worked wonders this season as he balances the push for the top four with progressing in a number of other competitions and he will take Thursday's goalless draw in a Europa League tie at Ajax into consideration when he names his starting eleven for Sunday. With a number of key players already ruled out, Emery will consider shuffling his pack for what could be a crucial moment in his bid to lead Villa into the Champions League.

Goalkeeper and defence

Emiliano Martinez is unquestionably established as Emery's number one and he will be a definite starter at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon. Looking in front of him, there could be changes with Pau Torres and Lucas Digne hoping to retain their place in the starting eleven after both players started Thursday's draw against Ajax. Tyrone Mings remains on the sidelines and will not return until pre-season training as he continues to undergo rehabilitation from the knee injury he suffered at Newcastle United on the opening day of the campaign.

Midfield

The one big absentee from the Villa midfield will be Boubacar Kamara as the former Marseille man remains on the sidelines with a knee injury. Emery confirmed the midfield underwent surgery on the injury last month and will not return to contention until next season. John McGinn should be handed a recall after the Scotland international was used as a substitute in the draw in Amsterdam.

Forwards

Given his outstanding form so far this season, Ollie Watkins will continue leading the line and the England striker is really without competition at this point in time. Jhon Duran and Emi Buendia remain out and that means Emery will select from Moussa Diaby, Leon Bailey, Nicolo Zaniolo and Jacob Ramsey as to which three will support Watkins in the final third.

Aston Villa predicted starting XI

Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne, Bailey, McGinn, Luiz, Diaby, Watkins, Ramsey.

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