Aston Villa Predicted Lineup vs AZ Alkmaar – Buzzing Ollie Watkins eager for first UECL goal

The in-form Ollie Watkins is in the spotlight in the Aston Villa Predicted Lineup vs AZ Alkmaar as the Villans travel to the Netherlands to take on the Dutch giants in the UEFA Europa Conference League Group E clash at the AFAS Stadion.

Unai Emery’s side will be eager to build on some consistency in the competition after their 1-0 win over Zrinjski Mostar and end the four-game winning streak of their opponents.

Aston Villa Predicted Lineup vs AZ Alkmaar
Photo by PA Images – Photo by Icon Sport

Aston Villa Predicted Lineup vs AZ Alkmaar

UEFA Europa Conference League team news

The Villans have been unlucky to lose a couple of important players for the rest of the 2023/24 season due to cruel injuries. Emiliano Buendia sustained a horrible knee injury in August and is expected to miss the rest of the campaign. A similar case has haunted Tyrone Mings as well, with the centre-back unlikely to play before next season.

On top of that, Aston Villa are also still without exciting midfielder Jacob Ramsey because of a foot injury. Alex Moreno remains on the sideline with a knock to his thigh and is unlikely to return to action before November. Emery is unlikely to treat this game as one to heavily rotate his squad after realizing how competitive Group E is, and will play quite a few key players in this.

Predicted Lineup

Emiliano Martinez (GK), Matty Cash, Diego Carlos, Clement Lenglet, Lucas Digne, Douglas Luiz, Youri Tielemans, John McGinn, Leon Bailey, Moussa Diaby, Ollie Watkins

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Photo by PA Images – Photo by Icon Sport

Aston Villa Predicted Lineup vs AZ Alkmaar – Our top three

Ollie Watkins – Confident forward eager to dominate

Ollie Watkins is flying high on momentum after an excellent start to the 2023/24 Premier League season with 10 goal contributions. But he has yet to score a goal in the Europa Conference League, nor has he started a game. The Englishman should start this one and look to torment the Eredivisie side with his tenacious style.

Watkins will probably be hassled and marked by AZ Alkmaar defender Alexandre Penetra. He knows how to slip past defenders with ease and will look to expertly link up moves as well as clinically finish them off to break his European goal duck.

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Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images – Photo by Icon Sport

Moussa Diaby – Lively winger a nightmare for defenders

Moussa Diaby has been an inspired signing for the Villans, adding more speed and efficiency to their frontline. He should also make his Europa Conference League debut for them against the Dutch side and will look to run defenders ragged.

AZ Alkmaar defender Riechedley Bazaoer will probably be tasked to stop him, but Diaby can be a menace when on song. He’ll look to use his electric speed to burst past defenders into the final third. Diaby, however, has to be decisive and clinical with his final product to inspire his side to a major win.

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Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images – Photo by Icon Sport

John McGinn – Commanding captain looks to lead from the front

John McGinn turned into Aston Villa’s hero to inspire them to their first win in the Conference League against Zrinjski Mostar. He is thriving under the pressure of European nights and his hard-working style helps him fight back against physical opposition.

McGinn will look to be a commanding figure for Villa, driving them forward and also helping accelerate their build-up play. McGinn will also get the freedom to play a free role, in which he’ll look to sneak into goal-scoring areas and look to get another goal in the Conference League.

Will Nicolo Zaniolo start vs AZ Alkmaar?

Nicolo Zaniolo is yet to tap into top gear at Aston Villa and might get rested for this to avoid injuries as well as because of the ongoing betting scandal against him. The buzzing Leon Bailey, who scored in the 4-1 win over West Ham United on Sunday, should replace the Italian to improve the Villans’ goal potential.

Aston Villa Predicted Lineup vs AZ Alkmaar – The final word

Aston Villa haven’t been totally convincing in the Europa Conference League yet, winning one and losing another game. They need a dominant win to improve their chances of topping Group G. Emery will need to motivate his side to replicate their Premier League heroics in Europe and show their attacking might to blow away the Dutch side.

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