Aston Villa vs Lille: Prediction lineups, team news, key players, and score

Aston Villa
Aston Villa / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

Aston Villa are preparing to welcome French side Lille to Villa Park on Thursday, 11 April 2024, for the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final. The match, set to kick off at 19:00 UTC, is expected to be a thrilling encounter between two teams with ambitions of European success.

Aston Villa vs Lille: Predicted Lineups and Team News

Villa manager Unai Emery is likely to field a strong starting eleven, despite the absence of several key players due to injuries. Jacob Ramsey, Matty Cash, Tyrone Mings, Boubacar Kamara, and Emiliano Buendia are all set to miss the crucial tie.

The predicted lineup for Aston Villa is a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Emiliano Martinez between the sticks and a back four consisting of Ezri Konsa, Diego Carlos, Pau Torres, and Lucas Digne. The midfield triangle is expected to feature Douglas Luiz, Youri Tielemans, and John McGinn, while Leon Bailey and Morgan Rogers are likely to provide width on the wings. Ollie Watkins, who has been in scintillating form this season with 24 goals in all competitions, is set to lead the line in an advanced role.

Lille, meanwhile, have injury concerns of their own, with Tiago Morais, Andrej Ilic, and Samuel Umtiti all doubtful for the match. However, there is a glimmer of hope for the French side, as Angel Gomes has recovered earlier than expected from a hamstring injury and could feature in the starting lineup.

Lille are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Leo Chevalier in goal and a back four of Tiago Santos, Bafode Diakite, Leny Yoro, and Ismaily. The midfield trio could consist of Benjamin Andre, Haraldsson and Nabil Bentaleb, while Edon Zhegrova and Remy Cabella are likely to support Jonathan David in attack.

Key Players

All eyes will be on the key players from both sides, with Ollie Watkins, who has already scored an impressive 18 goals in the Premier League this season, and Jonathan David, who has scored 16 goals in Ligue 1, expected to be the main goal threats for their respective teams.

Edon Zhegrova, Lille's in-form winger who recently scored a brace against Lens, could also prove to be a handful for Villa's defence.

Score Prediction

This match has all the makings of a closely fought battle, with both teams possessing quality in attack and a desire to progress in the competition. Aston Villa's home advantage and Unai Emery's European experience could give them a slight edge, but Lille's defensive resilience and attacking flair cannot be underestimated. A hard-fought 2-1 win for Villa seems like a plausible outcome, setting the stage for an intriguing second leg in France.

The winner of this tie will take a significant step towards the Europa Conference League semi-finals, a stage that Aston Villa hasn't reached in a European competition since the 1997-98 UEFA Cup.

Lille, who won Ligue 1 in 2021 and reached the Champions League Round of 16 in 2022, will be eager to add another impressive chapter to their recent European history.

With so much on the line, expect both Aston Villa and Lille to leave everything on the pitch in their quest for glory in the Europa Conference League.