£30m man starts, 'brilliant' gem axed by Emery in 2 changes: Predicted Aston Villa XI v Lille - opinion
Source: Astonvilla

Aston Villa take on LOSC Lille on Thursday evening looking to book their place in the semi-final of the UEFA Conference League.

Unai Emery's men secured a 2-1 victory last week and take a slender lead to Northern France.

This will not be a walk in the park for the Villans. Paulo Fonesca's side exploited Villa's high line in the West Midlands and posed a threat, particularly in the first half.

A resolute defensive performance - much like the one during the win over Arsenal - is required on Thursday evening.

Aston Villa News envisages Emery making two changes to the side, with both coming in midfield.

Douglas Luiz missed Sunday's clash due to suspension but is available to feature in the Conference League. The 25-year-old is almost certain to come straight back into the starting XI.


John McGinn and Youri Tielemans will both retain their spots, with the Scot potentially moving into a more advanced role to make room for Luiz's return.

As a result, 'brilliant' forward Morgan Rogers could make way. One further change will see Moussa Diaby dropped to the bench. PS30million signing Leon Bailey will replace the Frenchman after making an impact from the bench on Sunday.

The Jamaican was potentially rested with Thursday's fixture against Lille in mind. Elsewhere, Nicolo Zaniolo should retain his spot, with Ollie Watkins leading the line.

Emery will also line up with the same back five that started against Arsenal. Lucas Digne, Diego Carlos, Pau Torres, Ezri Konsa and Emi Martinez were superb in the capital and will play a big part in any success on Thursday evening.

The task at hand on Thursday cannot be understated. Lille boast an extremely impressive home record and, as previously mentioned, caused issues in the first leg.

Keeping Jonathan David and Hakon Arnar Haraldsson quiet is essential for Emery's men.