Aston Villa vs Watford Preview – Team News, Predicted Lineups, Key Players

Aston Villa will look to pick up a much-needed win in the Premier League on Saturday when they host relegation-threatened Watford at Villa Park.

The Villans will be desperate to bounce back from their shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United. While performances and results have improved under Steven Gerrard, they have still lacked consistency and that is something the Villa boss expects from his team starting from Saturday’s fixture.

Watford, on the other hand, faces a grim relegation battle in the coming months. Their fortunes are yet to change under new manager Roy Hodgson, with the Hornets slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Brighton last weekend.

Aston Villa vs Watford – Team News

Aston Villa

Ezri Konsa is suspended for Aston Villa, while Marvelous Nakamba (knee) and Bertrand Traore (hamstring) remain sidelined through injuries.

Despite last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle, there are no changes expected in the Aston Villa backline, with Matty Cash, Calum Chambers, Tyrone Mings and Lucas Digne set to take their places ahead of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Young Jacob Ramsey’s good run of form should see him retain his place in the Aston Villa lineup. He will start in midfield alongside John McGinn and Douglas Luiz.

Danny Ings is pushing for a start after playing second fiddle to Ollie Watkins this season. Philippe Coutinho has firmly established himself on the left flank quickly, with Emi Buendia the preferred choice ahead of Leon Bailey on the right.


Manager Roy Hodgson has been boosted by Peter Etebo’s return to full training this week, with the Nigerian midfielder having stepped up his recovery from a quad injury sustained back in September. Nicolas Nkoulou could join the Watford squad within the next couple of weeks, as the defender continues to recover from a hamstring problem.

Hodgson is expected to retain the back four that started in Watford’s 2-0 defeat to Brighton, which will see Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart, Samir and Hassane Kamara shield goalkeeper Ben Foster.

In an attacking 4-4-2 setup, Juraj Kucka and Moussa Sissoko are expected to start in central midfield. Imran Louza and Ismaila Sarr will start on the flanks, giving the Hornets the pace, dynamism and solidity in midfield they require to stop getting overrun.

Emmanuel Dennis will partner Joshua King up front again, as the pacey duo look to cause problems to Aston Villa on the break.

Aston Villa vs Watford—Predicted Lineups

Aston Villa Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Calum Chambers, Tyrone Mings, Lucas Digne; John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey; Emi Buendia, Danny Ings, Philippe Coutinho

Watford Predicted Lineup (4-4-2): Ben Foster; Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart, Samir, Hassane Kamara; Imran Louza, Moussa Sissoko, Juraj Kucka, Ismaila Sarr; Joshua King, Emmanuel Dennis

Aston Villa vs Watford – Key Players

Aston Villa—Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho has seamlessly slotted in Steven Gerrard’s side ever since arriving on loan from Barcelona in January. The Brazilian playmaker has made an instant impact at Villa Park, adding creativity, energy and unpredictability to Gerrard’s attack. Against a Watford side that will mostly defend in a low-block, Coutinho’s presence will be key in unlocking the visitors’ backline on Saturday.

Watford—Emmanuel Dennis

Emmanuel Dennis has made quite an impact in his debut Premier League season with Watford. With his electric pace and superb dribbling skills, the Nigerian can be a thorn in the Villa side. If he is allowed time and space to manoeuvre, he could prove a deadly asset for the Hornets at Villa Park.

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