Lille vs Aston Villa: Possible lineups, key players, team news, and prediction

Aston Villa v Lille OSC: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24
Aston Villa v Lille OSC: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

Lille and Aston Villa are set to clash in a highly anticipated Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Thursday. The tie is delicately poised after Villa's 2-1 win in the first leg, promising an exciting encounter in France.

Lille, who have been in impressive form at home, are determined to overturn the deficit and secure a place in the semi-finals. The French side has been a force to be reckoned with in the Europa Conference League this season, remaining unbeaten in eight of their last nine matches in the competition and only beaten by Villa. Their home form has been particularly strong, giving them confidence heading into this crucial fixture.

However, Aston Villa's European pedigree cannot be ignored. The English club has been impressive in the Conference League, securing eight wins out of 11 matches this season.

Villa's away form has been equally impressive, with a 50% win rate in their last six matches on the road, showcasing their ability to perform under pressure in hostile environments.

Predicted Lineups

Lille possible starting lineup:
Goalkeeper: Chevalier
Defence: Santos, Diakite, Yoro, Ismaily
Midfield: Andre, Bentaleb, Zhegrova, Cabella, Gudmundsson,
Forward: David

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Goalkeeper: Martinez
Defence: Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne,
Midfield: Luiz, Tielemans, Bailey, McGinn, Rogers,
Forward: Watkins

Team News and Key Players

Lille will be relying on their star striker Jonathan David to lead the charge and find the back of the net. The Canadian international has been in scintillating form this season, and his goals could prove crucial in overturning the deficit.

The hosts have had the benefit of a weekend off to prepare fully for this match, which could give them a slight edge in terms of freshness and tactical preparation.

Aston Villa, on the other hand, will welcome the return of Douglas Luiz in midfield after serving a suspension in the weekend Premier League match. The Brazilian's presence could be key in controlling the tempo of the game and providing a shield for the defence.

Leon Bailey, who opened the scoring against Arsenal on Sunday, could be rewarded with a starting berth, adding pace and trickery to Villa's attack.

Ollie Watkins, Douglas Luiz, Leon Bailey
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest - Premier League / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Villa's top scorer Ollie Watkins, currently third in the Premier League Golden Boot race with 19 goals, will be the main threat for the English side. His movement, link-up play, and clinical finishing could prove to be the difference-maker in this tie.

However, Villa will have to cope without several key players due to injury, including Boubacar Kamara, Emi Buendia, Tyrone Mings, and Jacob Ramsey, which could impact their squad depth and tactical options.

We predict that Aston Villa can progress to the semi-finals with a similar scoreline of 1-2, winning 4-2 on aggregate. If Villa avoid defeat, they will equal the club's longest unbeaten run in Europe, dating back to their triumphant 1982 European Cup campaign, adding an extra layer of motivation for the players to make history.

With both teams possessing talented attacking players and a strong desire to secure a place in the semi-finals, fans can expect a closely-fought and entertaining contest in Lille.

The stage is set for a memorable European night, as Lille and Aston Villa battle it out for a spot in the last four of the Europa Conference League.

The winner of this tie will not only progress to the semi-finals but also gain a significant boost in confidence and momentum as the competition reaches its climax.