Aston Villa’s £33m Signing Poised for First 2024 Start against Fulham this Saturday

Aston Villa is gearing up to face Fulham this Saturday afternoon, aiming to recover from their recent 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

Under Unai Emery’s management, the team has shown resilience this season, bouncing back with a win after each of their five previous defeats, prior to the loss against United. With an undefeated streak after losses, the Villa fans traveling to West London should be in high spirits.

Despite the loss to Manchester United, Villa’s performance was commendable. According to FotMob, they dominated possession and boasted an xG (expected goals) of 2.43 compared to United’s 1.79. Additionally, the home side registered seven more shots and five more shots on target than Erik ten Hag’s team, indicating a strong performance that could have easily led to a different outcome.

Villa’s consistent high performance sets a high standard, making anything less than three points on Saturday disappointing.

Pau Torres, the £33 million signing, is poised to make his first start of 2024. The Spaniard has been sidelined due to an ankle problem but is expected to return for Villa’s match against Marco Silva’s side. This comeback will be a boost for Emery, who has had to deal with a string of injuries lately.

Key midfielder Boubacar Kamara is out for the season with an ACL injury sustained during the Manchester United game. Defensive stalwarts Diego Carlos and Ezri Konsa are also unavailable due to injuries. However, the return of Tyrone Mings to training after a knee injury suffered in the opening game of the 2023/24 season provides a positive development. If Mings partners with Torres in defense, Villa’s aspirations for Champions League qualification could remain on track.

Nevertheless, Emery might have to rely on Calum Chambers for the Fulham game. Chambers, who has had limited opportunities this season, could now play a crucial role following injuries to key defenders. Despite being told he could leave the club in the latter stages of the January window, Chambers might find himself with significant responsibilities in the upcoming matches.

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