Aston Villa team news: 'Reliable' star 'will be missed' vs Southampton

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith giving instructions

Journalist Luke Hatfield thinks Ezri Konsa's absence will be felt when Aston Villa take on Southampton on Friday night.

Konsa has cemented himself in Villa's starting XI over the last couple of years, but the side will have to try to cope without him at St Mary's.

Why is Konsa unavailable for the Southampton game?

The 24-year-old has started all 10 of Villa's Premier League matches this season, and helped Dean Smith's men keep back-to-back clean sheets against Everton and Manchester United in September.

He will have to sit out Villa's trip to the South Coast, though, after being sent off last weekend when Villa were beaten 4-1 by West Ham. 

It will be the first top-flight fixture that Konsa has missed since December 2020, when he failed to appear in two games in quick succession due to injury.

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What has Hatfield said about Konsa?

Konsa has become a player that Smith appears to have a lot of faith in, and Hatfield believes the 50-year-old will miss him against Southampton.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Ezri Konsa’s not going to be there. And he’s been such a reliable player for Villa, particular over the last two seasons. So, he’ll be missed.”

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Who will replace Konsa?

Smith made the surprise call to leave out club captain Tyrone Mings on Sunday against the Irons, as he opted to play Konsa and Kortney Hause together at the heart of the defence.

It didn't work out well, though, and Mings came on shortly after Konsa was given his marching orders, so it seems likely that he will be reinstated into the starting line-up to play alongside Hause. 

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Then again, if Smith does go with this partnership, he would have two left-footed centre-backs, which is unusual, and he may worry about this affecting the balance of his backline.

With this in mind, Axel Tuanzebe could come into the equation as a possible replacement for Konsa. 

Furthermore, Villa have played with a back three on a number of occasions this season, and Smith may believe that his best chance of getting a result is to revert back to this system. Therefore, it would not be a complete surprise to see Mings, Hause and Tuanzebe all in the starting XI when the team face Ralph Hasenhuttl's men. 

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