January 5, 2024

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Moussa Diaby of Aston Villa (R) celebrates with teammate, Jhon Duran after scoring the team's first goal during the UEFA Europa Conference League match between Aston Villa FC and Legia Warszawa at Villa Park on November 30, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

This weekend, Aston Villa will travel to Middlesbrough for their FA Cup round three match as they aim to advance. This is our anticipated XI.


Aston Villa has not defeated Wycombe in the FA Cup since 2016, therefore they have performed poorly in the competition in recent years.


Villa struggled even under Nou Emery, having lost humiliatingly to Stevenage at Villa Park the previous season.


There are high hopes because the Villans had an excellent season and are currently positioned in second place in the Premier League. The league and the Europa Conference League must come first, even in that scenario. Consequently, there might be some adjustments.


Having said that, let’s look at our projected starting lineup for this weekend’s FA Cup third-round match.


Aston Villa’s Lineup Prediction

In Europe, Emi Martinez often assumes the role of Villa’s keeper, but that could soon change. After making his Villa debut against Zrinjski Mostar, Filip Marschall might be set to start for the second time against Middlesbrough.


Choosing the back line for our projected starting XI is difficult. Since Lucas Digne is out with an injury, Alex Moreno will start at left back, with Matty Cash expected to start on the right. It’s unclear if Pau Torres, the centre defender, will get a chance to improve his match fitness. Diego Carlos and Clement Lenglet should remain in their positions, in our opinion. That is, until Josh Feeney or Calum Chambers are given an opportunity.


Some rested players will probably start in the centre, while Douglas Luiz won’t likely play. We have chosen to start Leander Dendoncker at the base in midfield opposite captain John McGinn for our projected starting XI. We believe that Jacob Ramsey should continue to play in wide areas while Nicolo Zaniolo replaces Leon Bailey.


Ollie Watkins, the £18 million acquisition, deserves a well-earned break up front, thus Jhon Duran should start. It is difficult to select a second striker for our starting lineup beside him, but Moussa Diaby is our recommendation. The Frenchman needs a chance to bounce back from his recent bad spell of play. This FA Cup match could be the ideal occasion.


Predicted starting lineup for Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Carlos, Lenglet, Moreno, Zaniolo, Dendoncker, McGinn, Ramsey, Duran, and Diaby.

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