3 non-negotiable starters for Aston Villa vs Olympiacos

Aston Villa
Aston Villa / Michael Steele/GettyImages

As Aston Villa gears up for their highly anticipated Europa Conference League semi-final clash against Olympiacos, the spotlight falls on three essential players who could make all the difference: Ollie Watkins, John McGinn, and Morgan Rogers.

Ollie Watkins

Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Ollie Watkins has been a revelation for Aston Villa this season, consistently delivering outstanding performances in both domestic and European competitions. With an impressive tally of 19 goals in the Premier League, Watkins has proven himself to be a prolific scorer and a constant threat to opposition defences.

His ability to create chances for his teammates and his tireless work rate make him an indispensable part of Villa's attacking lineup. As they face Olympiacos, Watkins' presence on the pitch will be crucial in unlocking the Greek side's defence and securing a positive result.

John McGinn

John McGinn
John McGinn / Michael Steele/GettyImages

John McGinn is the engine that drives Aston Villa's midfield. His tenacity, leadership, and ability to control the game's tempo make him a key player in high-stakes matches like the Europa Conference League semi-final.

McGinn's experience in European football and his ability to create opportunities for his teammates will be vital in breaking down Olympiacos' defensive structure. His tireless work rate and defensive contributions will also be essential in protecting Villa's backline and ensuring a solid foundation for the team's attacking play.

Morgan Rogers

Morgan Rogers / DARREN STAPLES/GettyImages

While less experienced than his teammates, Morgan Rogers has emerged as a rising star in Aston Villa's squad. His recent performances have earned him a place in the starting lineup, and his agility, skill, and goal-scoring ability have added a new dimension to Villa's attacking threat.

Rogers' presence on the pitch could be a game-changer against Olympiacos, as his unpredictability and creativity could catch the Greek side off guard. His youthful energy and enthusiasm could also provide a spark for his teammates, driving them forward in their quest for victory.

Injury woes and suspensions

Aston Villa's preparations for the Europa Conference League semi-final against Olympiacos have been marred by a series of injuries to key players. The team will be without goalkeeper Emi Martinez due to a thigh strain, while defenders Tyrone Mings (knee) and Alex Moreno (calf) are also sidelined.

Midfielders Boubacar Kamara (knee), Emiliano Buendia (knee), Jacob Ramsey (foot), and Nicolo Zaniolo (unspecified) are also out of contention. To add to their woes, Youri Tielemans, who was forced off against Chelsea with a groin injury, remains a major doubt for the clash.

Olympiacos, meanwhile, will be without the services of Andreas Ndoj and Georgios Masouras, both suspended for the match. These absences could impact their defensive solidity and attacking options, respectively.

Predicted Lineups

Aston Villa: Olsen, Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne, Luiz, McGinn, Rogers, Bailey, Diaby, Watkins.

Olympiacos: Tzolakis, Rodinei, Carmo, Restos, Ortega, Horta, Chiquinho, Hezze, Fortounis, Podence, El Kaabi

As the first leg of the Europa Conference League semi-final kicks off at Villa Park, the performances of Ollie Watkins, John McGinn, and Morgan Rogers will be under the microscope. Their ability to rise to the occasion and deliver in this crucial match could be the difference between success and failure for Aston Villa.

With a place in the final at stake, both teams will give their all, but it is these three players who could ultimately decide the outcome of this thrilling encounter.