Aston Villa are back in action when they host Everton at Villa Park on Saturday (5.30pm).
Villa have yet to properly kick-start their season with Dean Smith’s side hit by injury and quarantine woes.
Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez are expected to be back from their quarantine in Croatia, having been made to isolate after going away on international duty with Argentina.
Meanwhile, on the injury front, long-term absentee Trezeguet remains out, the Egyptian is still recovering from surgery on a knee injury.
Keinan Davis has come out of a brace that prevented him from going out on loan, while Carney Chukwuemeka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace both picked up injuries while on international duty with England’s youth teams.
Leon Bailey came back from a hamstring injury at Chelsea last time out, coming off the substitute’s bench for the final 34 minutes of the 3-0 defeat to Stamford Bridge.
After a full week of training, he could start against Everton and give Seamus Coleman a torrid time down Everton’s right-hand side.
Smith switched formation for the game at Chelsea, starting with three centre-backs and wing-backs as Villa looked to counter the threat of Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech.
Everton also played a three-at-the-back last time out in their game against Burnley, so Smith could stick with the same formation or lose a centre-back for a more attacking formation.
In front of an expectant Villa crowd, Smith will be keen to make sure that his side does not end the game with a record of one win in five games.
That’s why it would not be a surprise to see Bailey get a start, but the question is, what of Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings? It would be a shock to see one of the pair dropped, but Bailey has to play from the off.
It would be a stretch to see Buendia start upon his return from isolation, but Martinez should come back in for Jed Steer if he is fit.
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In midfield, John McGinn, Jacob Ramsey and Douglas Luiz will likely continue, as do the full-backs Matty Cash and Matt Targett.
Axel Tuanzebe would drop out for Bailey to make room for an extra attacker, with Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa continuing at centre-back.
Ings or Watkins could play in a three up front with Bailey, but one of them would be shunted out to the wing, or a more fluid front-three could see Bailey drift and one of the pair fill in either side.
What is your predicted XI for Villa’s game against Everton? Have your say in the comments section below…
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