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Aston Villa predicted XI v Man City: Ross Barkley returns, key duo available

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Aston Villa

Aston Villa predicted XI v Man City: Ross Barkley returns, key duo available

Predicting the Aston Villa team for their game against Manchester City this evening won’t be easy.

The Villans squad has recently been rocked by the pandemic and boss Dean Smith confirmed his team selection will be affected.

He did, however, confirm that John McGinn and Jack Grealish are in line to play tonight.

Ahead of Villa’s trip to face Pep Guardiola’s team, we looked at how Smith could line his team up.

In goal and back four

Emi Martinez has been a great signing from Arsenal and he should start in goal.

Matty Cash is near the top of plenty of statistics when it comes to Premier League right-backs and he too has proved a revelation.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

(Photo; Catherine Ivill; Getty Images)

In the left full-back slot, Smith will hope to have Matt Targett available.

The centre-back partnership of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa has been a real standout this season and it’ll be hoped they can continue.

Midfield

John McGinn should start this evening.

He was one of the players specifically asked about by the press and his availability is a big positive for Villa.

 

Alongside him, Douglas Luiz could get the nod to start against his former club.

Conor Hourihane could miss out on the squad altogether as he nears a loan move to Swansea City.

In attack

Smith could go for some changes in attack.

Jack Grealish could move out to the left-hand side as Ross Barkley looks set to return from a hamstring problem.

The £96,000-a-week star is on loan from Chelsea but has been missing for the last two months.

Arsenal v Aston Villa - Premier League

(Photo; James Williamson; AMA; Getty Images)

His return to the team will be a big positive for Smith.

On the right flank, Trezeguet could come in to replace Bertrand Traore as Smith looks to keep things fresh.

In attack, it will be hoped that Ollie Watkins can start at the Etihad Stadium.

Here is how tonight’s team might look:

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