£2.25m-rated “big game player” starts, Gerrard makes 2 changes: Predicted AVFC XI – opinion

£2.25m-rated “big game player” starts, Gerrard makes 2 changes: Predicted AVFC XI – opinion

After a stellar start under Steven Gerrard, picking up four wins from six games, Aston Villa host a Chelsea side in mixed form in what proves to be both a tricky test, but also an opportunity to record a significant scalp.

Here is how Football FanCast believe Villa will line up against the Blues as Gerrard makes two changes to the win against Norwich City.

In goal, there are no surprises as Emi Martínez makes his 17th league start of the campaign whilst the back four of Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Matty Cash avoids any tinkering.

There is one change in the midfield as 18-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka is handed his first Premier League start since August and just his second in total.

With Marvelous Nakamba set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the English midfielder has an opportunity to impress and fill the void left by the Zimbabwe international.

The £2.25m-rated midfielder has already made three appearances off of the bench under Gerrard, assisting in the Villans’ last game against Norwich.

Furthermore, having been dubbed “a big game player” by a previous coach, the game against Chelsea could prove the perfect opportunity for Chukwuemeka to state a claim.

Chukwuemeka’s presence means that Jacob Ramsey moves onto the right-wing. Having scored against Norwich last time out, the 20-year-old deserves to maintain his place in the starting lineup.

Emi Buendía keeps his spot in the team on the left flank whilst Danny Ings replaces Ollie Watkins upfront on a precautionary basis.

With Villa set to contest a hectic festive schedule, Gerrard will need to manage his squad effectively and therefore may be tempted to rest some key players, such as Watkins, with nearby fixtures in mind.

AND in other news, Huge boost: Aston Villa receive big injury lift pre-Chelsea, fans will be elated…

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