Aston Villa are back in Premier League action for one final time before the World Cup break, as they take on a high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion side away from home. The Villans lost in their last outing, in the Carabao Cup midweek, as Manchester United got revenge with a 4-2 victory.
Last weekend Unai Emery had got off to a dream start, beating the Red Devils in the league at Villa Park by three goals to one. Before that, it had been a real up-and-down spell for Villa, with a 4-0 loss away at Newcastle preceded by their own 4-0 win over Brentford.
In 15th position with 15 points in 14 games, relegation shouldn’t be too much of a threat but Emery will need to conduct a far better run of form to get them his team up and away from it. It won’t be easy to start that against Brighton though, as the Seagulls may not be by name a tough-sounding opposition, but they very much are so by nature.
It took a while for new manager Roberto De Zerbi to settle in, with five games without a win at one stage, but Albion now arrive at this clash with three successive victories in all competitions. An impressive 4-1 win over Chelsea at the Amex followed by a comeback 3-2 victory at Wolves and a 3-1 sweep of Arsenal will have filled them with plenty of confidence.
Both sides have - rather remarkably - managed to steer clear of any new injury concerns after a congested fixture schedule over the last few weeks. Combined there are just three certain absentees for the game, which kicks off at 2pm on Sunday, November 13.
What is the team news ahead of Brighton vs Aston Villa?
Villa have recently learned attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho will be unavailable until after the World Cup having picked up a thigh problem. Big-money summer signing Diego Carlos remains ruled out with his Achilles tendon issue, which he had surgery on in August. He is back at the training ground but likely won’t be available for selection until the new year.
Brighton meanwhile will have to make do without versatile Polish midfielder Jakub Moder, but De Zerbi has already become accustomed to his absence considering he’s been sidelined all season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Moder is expected to return before the end of the campaign, perhaps in March.