Nakamba to start – Four Aston Villa changes Steven Gerrard will consider vs Leicester

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Four defeats on the spin has left Aston Villa sitting just three places above the relegation zone. Up next it’s Leicester City on Saturday as Steven Gerrard desperately looks to stop the rot.

The head coach was furious with his players after his side’s second-half capitulation against Tottenham 10 days ago. According to Gerrard, Villa put in their strongest showing in that first 45 minutes – only for a string of errors to help Spurs on their way to a 0-4 rout.

With match action set to resume after a weekend off, BirminghamLive takes a look at the changes that could be forthcoming at the King Power Stadium on St George’s Day; kick-off 3pm.

Calum Chambers start

Now this one’s probably a shoo-in given Ezri Konsa’s error-laden display against Son Heung-min and Harry Kane. Chambers was unfortunate to lose his place previously after decent showings against Southampton, Leeds and West Ham before Konsa came straight back into the XI against Arsenal last month. Chambers, 27, has been a good addition since his move from the Gunners in January and, come Saturday, will be favourite to come back in at the expense of Konsa.

Marvelous Nakamba start

Now one area where Tottenham brutally exposed Villa was that pocket between Villa’s centre-backs and midfield. Whether it was Eric Dier or Christian Romero pinging long, lofted balls upto Spurs’ front two, Villa simply couldn’t deal with it. With that, Nakamba will surely come into Gerrard’s thinking come Saturday. The Zimbabwean has been back in full-training for around a month now and has been ticking away with some in-house games back at Bodymoor Heath. Nakamba’s steel and ability to sniff out danger could be a real asset for the remaining fixtures.

Lucas Digne replacement

The Frenchman is working hard on his rehab after injuring his collarbone last time out. It’s not yet known if Digne’s season is done but he’ll be out for at least a couple of weeks. Ashley Young is the like-for-like change here and, with no other options, the 36-year-old will come in and start once more at left-back this weekend.

Emi Buendia start

Villa’s club-record signing began 2022 with a real verve but lost his place in Gerrard’s XI to Philippe Coutinho, with the pair struggling to work as two No.10s. Buendia was underwhelming on his last start against Arsenal but has showed real energy and commitment from off the bench in recent weeks. A change could be forthcoming to give Buendia a good go from now until the season concludes. Just a two-goal return since his £38million move hasn’t gone the way he would have hoped but there’s still time yet. Buendia could come in for one of Danny Ings or Ollie Watkins, while Coutinho is expected to keep his place at the King Power on Saturday.