Steven Gerrard is boosted by return of key midfielder Douglas Luiz from hamstring injury as he aims to make it two wins from two as Aston Villa boss against Crystal Palace
- Douglas Luiz is expected to return as Aston Villa travel to Crystal Palace
- Brazilian midfielder missed last weekend’s 2-0 win over Brighton
- That marked an impressive start to Steven Gerrard’s tenure as Villa manager
- Gerrard is unlikely to change too much at Palace after encouraging start
Steven Gerrard expects to welcome back key midfielder Douglas Luiz for Aston Villa’s clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Brazilian missed Gerrard’s first game in charge – a 2-0 win over Brighton last weekend – due to hamstring trouble but is set to be available for the trip to Selhurst Park.
Gerrard is unlikely to make significant changes after an encouraging start to his reign but Luiz will be pushing for a place in the starting XI as he has ideal qualities to play the holding role in Villa’s 4-3-3 system.
Douglas Luiz (left) is poised to return for Aston Villa following a hamstring problem
The Brazilian midfielder’s comeback is a boost for Steven Gerrard ahead of the weekend
Steven Gerrard celebrates during Villa’s 2-0 win over Brighton in his first match in charge
Danny Ings is again set to lead the line with Ollie Watkins starting wide on the left, though Watkins opened the scoring against Brighton after Ings had been substituted and the 25-year-old had been switched to a central attacking role.
Luiz’s form has fluctuated during his career at Villa Park but he remains one of their best players when on peak form.
After a difficult start at the club, he was a vital presence as Villa avoided relegation against the odds in the 2019-20 season, producing a series of decisive performances when football returned after its three-month Covid-19 suspension.
He has also become a regular member of the Brazil squad during his time at Villa Park.