Michael Owen makes worrying prediction for Steven Gerrard ahead of Brighton clash
Former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen feels Steven Gerrard's players will be low on confidence as they prepare to welcome Brighton today.
Graham Potter's team have made a decent start to the Premier League campaign and are seventh in the table on 17 points from 11 matches.
Gerrard was confirmed as Aston Villa's new manager during the international break after previous boss Dean Smith was sacked after five consecutive losses.
The Seagulls won last season at Villa Park thanks to a late winner from Solly March and a similar result would keep up their European challenge.
Gerrard takes charge of his first game as Aston Villa boss and does not expect Douglas Luiz to return in time.
The Brazilian has been out since the end of October due to a hamstring injury, while Gerrard will also be without fellow midfielders Morgan Sanson (illness) and Trezeguet (knee).
Central defender Ezri Konsa is back in contention after serving a one-game ban as Villa bid to halt a five-game losing run.
"I’m sure Stevie will be relishing his first job in the Premier League, but he’ll need to galvanise this Villa side fast. They’ve lost five in a row and the confidence isn’t there at the minute.
"That was a strange game for Brighton against Newcastle. They started well and controlled large parts of the game but didn’t build on their lead. They looked like the Brighton of last season, lots of possession but not taking enough chances.
"Villa are obviously struggling and I don’t think Steven Gerrard will have had enough time to turn things around. I fancy a 2-1 Brighton win."
Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is suspended following his late red card against Newcastle.
Jason Steele, who plays in the cup competitions for the Seagulls, will therefore be handed his Premier League debut.
Enock Mwepu is out with a muscle strain, but Aaron Connolly is fit following a heel injury.
Aston Villa provisional squad: Martinez, Steer, Cash, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Hause, Tuanzebe, Young, Nakamba, Chukwuemeka, El Ghazi, Philogene-Bidace, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins, Bailey, Archer, Davis.
Brighton provisional squad: Steele, Cucurella, Dunk, Duffy, Burn, Veltman, Lamptey, Roberts, Gross, Lallana, Mac Allister, Moder, Richards, March, Trossard, Maupay, Connolly, Locadia, Bissouma, Scherpen.