By Gabriel Agbonlahor

22nd Sep, 2021 | 1:00pm

Sanson in line for first Aston Villa start of season after major reveal - Agbonlahor

Gabby Agbonlahor has tipped Morgan Sanson to be handed his first start for Aston Villa this season against Chelsea tonight.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer insisted Dean Smith will play a strong side at Stamford Bridge.

The two sides met earlier this month as Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners despite a strong performance from Aston Villa.

Sanson, a £14million signing in January, has struggled with injury this term but was named on the bench against the Blues.

He was not part of the 19-man squad against Everton but Birmingham Live reported he was spotted doing a warm down with the unused substitutes after the game.

“I don’t think it will be a crazy amount of changes,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“The international break has just gone so the players who did not have international duty will have had a rest. It’s the time of the season when you can still play a strong side in the Carabao Cup.

“I expect Kortney Hause to start, Ashley Young to start, Anwar El Ghazi, Bertrand Traore and Jacob Ramsey will start. Morgan Sanson will also start. One of Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins will start. Maybe Watkins to get him on the scoresheet, he’s not scored yet this season.

“Some of the younger players will fill the bench. I don’t think there will be as many changes as there was against Barrow in the last round they played in.

“They have to respect Chelsea because Chelsea’s second team is really strong. They’ve got players like Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner who need game time. You can’t go too weak if you’re Aston Villa.”

In other news, a £17m Aston Villa star has been tipped for an extended spell on the sidelines after the latest news.