Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. Nottingham Forest: key change made as defensive injury crisis mounts

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All the latest team news and injury updates as Aston Villa prepare to play Nottingham Forest in the Premier League

Aston Villa will look to tighten their hold on a top four placing when they host Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League – but Unai Emery’s side will go into the game with at least six players absent through injury.

Villa bounced back from consecutive defeats with a 2-1 win over Fulham last weekend but the home side haven’t compiled back-to-back victories in the league since mid-December. Forest, meanwhile, come into the game on the back of a 2-0 win against West Ham United and with fewer injury problems to navigate.

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We’ve compiled all of the latest team news ahead of this weekend’s game and hazarded our best guess at Emery’s starting XI – and if you’re looking for some information before making your transfers in the Fantasy Premier League, you can also find our regular FPL advice column here.

Goalkeeper & Defence

Villa’s biggest injury problems come in central defence, with no three senior centre-halves out of action for the game at Villa Park. Ezri Konsa (knee) has missed the last two games and is not expected back for one or two more weeks, Diego Carlos (hamstring) will likely be out until mid-March after picking up an injury in training before the win against Fulham, and Tyrone Mings (cruciate ligament) is out for the season after his injury on the opening day.

That means that former Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet will continue to partner Pau Torres in defence, with the Spaniard mercifully making a successful return from injury last week as he came through the Fulham match unscathed. Calum Chambers, who has not played in the Premier League this season, is the only other recognised senior centre-back should anything befall Torres or Lenglet. Forest, meanwhile, will have to make do without Gonzalo Montiel, who has a hamstring injury.

Midfield

Aston Villa suffered a brutal brow during the recent 2-1 defeat to Manchester United when key midfielder Boubacar Kamara sustained a torn ACL, which will cause the Frenchman to miss the rest of the campaign. He joins Emiliano Buendía on the treatment table, with the Argentine the third member of the Villa squad to suffer a season-ending cruciate ligament injury over the course of the campaign.

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Fortunately, there are no other known injury problems in Villa’s midfield, meaning that either Jacob Ramsey or Youri Tielemans will partner Douglas Luiz in the heart of the park. Both featured last week, with Tielemans taking a more advanced role with Moussa Diaby starting on the bench for the third game in succession.

Forwards

Colombian striker Jhon Durán is expected to be out until April thanks to the hamstring injury which has sidelined him since the match against Everton in mid-January. With him out of action, the continued fitness of Ollie Watkins will be key for the rest of Villa’s season. Forest’s only other injury issue is up front, with New Zealand forward Chris Wood also sidelined by a hamstring problem.

Full predicted line-up vs. Nottingham Forest

Martínez; Moreno, Torres, Lenglet, Cash; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins.

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