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How Aston Villa could line up for their first game back

:Headline: How Aston Villa could line up for their first game back: ID:401270: from db_amp
Sports Mole looks at how Aston Villa could line up for their first Premier League game back against Sheffield United.

Aston Villa will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they take on high-flying Sheffield United on June 17.

Dean Smith's side are due to play their game in hand against the Blades on the first night that the league resumes, before taking on Chelsea at some point on the weekend of 19-21 June.

Villa have lost each of their last four in the Premier League, including a 4-0 defeat at Leicester City on March 9, to sit 19th in the table, two points behind 17th-placed Watford.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the strugglers could line up when they take to the field against Chris Wilder's team on June 17.


Out: Tom Heaton (knee), Wesley (knee)
Doubtful: John McGinn (ankle), Jed Steer (Achilles)

Villa will still be unable to call upon either Tom Heaton or Wesley due to long-term knee injuries, but there is a hope that key midfielder John McGinn will be fit to return from an ankle problem.

The Scotland international has not played since December 21 but has stepped up his recovery over the lockdown period and could be in line to feature in the middle of the park.

Pepe Reina is battling Orjan Nyland for the spot between the sticks with Jed Steer still struggling to overcome an Achilles issue, while Smith has decisions to make in midfield.

Conor Hourihane could be the player to drop out should McGinn return, with Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba expected to keep their spots in a 4-3-3 formation.

The back four is unlikely to change, while Mbwana Samatta, who has scored twice in six appearances for Villa since arriving in January, should lead the line in Wesley's absence.

Anwar El Ghazi was left out of the starting XI against Leicester but should return, while Jack Grealish is expected to line up on the left side of a front three once again.

The speculation surrounding Grealish's future continues to gather pace, but there is no question that the Englishman will be determined to help his side move away from the relegation zone.

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