Aston Villa vs. Leicester City
Venue: Villa Park
Aston Villa play host to Leicester City this afternoon looking for the win which would keep the club in the hunt for the Champions League places.
While Villa begin the weekend in eighth position in the Premier League table, the visitors make the short trip to the West Midlands in third spot after beating Liverpool last weekend.
Despite having to contend with a number of injury issues, Brendan Rodgers made the decision to select a full-strength side for their Europa League fixture with Slavia Prague.
However, the calculated gamble failed to pay off as the Foxes were held to a goalless draw, effectively leaving Rodgers to take a similar approach in the second leg next Thursday.
With a top-four spot in the Premier League still being the club’s main priority, Rodgers is unlikely to rest any of his key men for a meeting with one of their rivals.
Aside from their late burst against Liverpool, the Foxes have struggled in the final third of late, a period which has coincided with Jamie Vardy still getting back up to speed after hernia surgery.
Nevertheless, Rodgers will be delighted with how his team have performed in defensive areas while having to contend with injuries to Wesley Fofana and James Justin.
Facing Villa on away territory on two-and-a-half days rest represents a different challenge for the Foxes, particularly with Villa having kept back-to-back clean sheets.
While Dean Smith’s team produced one of their worst performances of the season against Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, they were still able to earn a share of the spoils.
Still possessing matches in hand ahead of a favourable fixture list, Villa will be optimistic that they can make quick headway up the table in the coming weeks.
Despite having a hand in 16 Premier League goals this season, Jack Grealish has netted just once in all competitions since the end of November.
Aston Villa possible XI: Martinez, Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Sanson, Luiz, McGinn, Traore, Watkins, Grealish.
Leicester City possible XI: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.