By Gabriel Agbonlahor

26th Dec, 2020 | 8:00am

Agbonlahor Exclusive: Villa tipped to axe 25-yr-old today after early team news reveal

Gabriel Agbonlahor has tipped Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa to replace Kortney Hause against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer insisted Konsa has been “immense” this season.

The 23-year-old has missed Villa’s last two Premier League games with illness after being an ever-present in their first 11 league games.

Manager Dean Smith revealed earlier this week the centre-back should be “fine” for the visit of Palace on Boxing Day.

Hause, 25, has stepped into the starting XI in Konsa’s absence and has helped Villa keep clean sheets in their last two Premier League games.

The Midlands giants have conceded just 13 goals in the top-flight this season, second behind Manchester City (12) in terms of goals conceded.

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Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has kept seven clean sheets – the most of any keeper in the competition.

Asked by Football Insider whether Konsa will replace Hause despite Villa’s recent defensive performances, Agbonlahor said: “100 per cent.

“Kortney Hause has done well for a couple of games but Konsa has been immense in that defence.

“It just balances out with one left-footer and one right-footer.

“Also he’s been in great form, Konsa, so I’m sure he’ll walk back into the team – definitely.”

Konsa moved to Villa Park from Championship side Brentford for a £12million fee in the summer of 2019.

He has played 42 times since his move from Griffin Park and has scored two goals and provided two assists in Claret and Blue.

In other news, Darren Bent has tipped a “great” Aston Villa player he knows well to join Newcastle United.