Aston Villa’s FA Cup campaign gets underway on Monday evening as they travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.
It’s the only piece of silverware left available for the claret & blue to win this season and manager Steven Gerrard has promised fans that he and his side will be going all out to bring it to Villa Park.
With that said, it’s highly likely that a full strength squad is fielded by the scouser on the night.
The game will come too soon for new loan signing Philippe Coutinho who is set for his Villa medical today whilst Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet are both absent on international duty.
Marvelous Nakamba and Leon Bailey are still sidelined with injury but Ashley Young could come back into contention after making good progress with his.
Whilst it would go against the theme of going full strength, the cup does often given an opportunity for a team’s back-up keeper. With that said, Jed Steer could get the nod here.
Kortney Hause scored the winner when these sides met back in September but he didn’t do himself many favours in the loss to Brentford so I see him losing out with Tyrone Mings returning to the line-up. Ezri Konsa will partner the captain with the usual full-back pairing of Matty Cash and Matt Targett.
We may see a slight tweak in midfield as I think Carney Chukwuemeka may get a chance to impress from the off. Pairing him in the middle with the experienced duo of Douglas Luiz and John McGinn would do him the world of good.
Danny Ings showed what he can do when playing in his more favoured position against Brentford and for that I think he retains his place at Old Trafford.
Ollie Watkins is back and available but it just hasn’t worked with him on the right/left of the three so far this season so he may have to settle for a spot on the bench.
Emi Buendia is improving and could have a big say in this one whilst Jacob Ramsey may once again be deployed in one of the more forward roles in the place of Traore who is away at AFCON.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Steer; Cash, Mings, Konsa, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Chukwuemeka; Buendia, Ings, Ramsey
BirminghamWorld’s football reporter Ben Ramsdale will be live at Old Trafford this evening and you can follow minute-by-minute updates from him here.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep the conversation going.