If the Villans are to finish in the top six, they can’t afford to drop too many points in the coming months as the race for the promotion playoff heats up.
Aston Villa Team News
Jack Grealish is out of contention owing to his shin injury which he suffered against West Brom back in December.
Goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic was forced off the pitch at half-time due to a head injury against the Baggies last week but he should be available to start in the upcoming game.
James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe are still on the treatment table owing to their knee and foot injuries respectively and will miss out once again.
Meanwhile, John McGinn received his tenth booking of the campaign against Darren Moore’s side, and will serve the first of his two-match suspension.
Tom Carroll was sidelined with a hip injury but is back in training, whereas Henri Lansbury is also on the injury list as he is nursing his hamstring injury.
PREDICTED ASTON VILLA LINEUP VS STOKE CITY (4-1-4-1)
Kalinic is expected to be in goal as usual as he is the first choice shot-stopper. We are likely to see a four-man backline come Saturday.
Tommy Elphick and Tyrone Mings should be able to keep their place in central defence, especially given the scarcity of centre-halves.
While Alan Hutton is expected to start at right-back, Kortney Hause should feature on the opposite flank.
Glenn Whelan could operate as an anchorman in central midfield. The 35-year-old is capable enough of orchestrating the play, and his experience will come in handy.
McGinn’s absence is expected to pave the way for Jacob Ramsey’s introduction in the starting lineup in central midfield alongside Conor Hourihane.
Andre Green and Ahmed El Mohamady could be used as the wide midfielders once again. The latter has scored 2 goals and registered 4 assists in 26 league games so far.
Tammy Abraham has plundered 20 goals in 27 league appearances this season and he is expected to lead the line against the Potters.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored