@ZAPunter takes a look at the English Premier League match between Aston Villa and Bournemouth which takes place on Saturday 17th August
ASTON VILLA VS BOURNEMOUTH, SATURDAY @ 16:00
Aston Villa are back in the big time and host Bournemouth on Saturday in their first Premier League game at Villa Park since 2016. Villa opened their campaign with a 3-1 away defeat to Spurs and Bournemouth drew 1-1 with Sheffield United. Both teams played an entertaining style of football last season with Aston Villa scoring the third most goals in the Championship and Bournemouth the most outside of the top 6. On the defensive side Villa was vulnerable and conceded a number of goals against higher ranked opponents and Bournemouth had the leakiest defence outside of the relegated clubs. Aston Villa is a massive club with a huge following and the players will be excited to play in front of their fans at Villa Park this weekend.
Dean Smith’s side looked on the verge of pulling off a remarkable win vs Spurs last weekend, but the quality of Tottenham showed at the end. The manager and players will take huge confidence out of that performance and will believe that they have the ability to compete against the top clubs. The Aston Villa players looked well organised and played with no fear against last season’s Champions League finalists. They managed to keep Spurs away for most of the game and only conceded their goals on mistakes made. The team can only grow from here and should be confident of getting all 3 points on Saturday.
Eddie Howe will be frustrated with his team’s performance vs Sheffield United, giving up a 1-0 lead in the 88th minute. The Cherries lacked their killer instinct at times and struggled to find their rhythm from last season. Sheffield United lined up in a very unorthodox formation and Bournemouth had less time and space to dominate the game. The Cherries conceded at the end when they lost the physical battle in the box and Billy Sharpe scored a tap in. Howe should work hard this week in preparing his team for a tough test against Villa and will feel his teams Premier League experience should help them get the victory.
PROBABLE LINE-UPS AND TEAM NEWS:
Aston Villa: 4-4-1-1
El Mohamady, Engels, Mings, Targett,
Jota, McGinn, Hourihane, Trezeguet,
*No new injuries. Taylor and El Ghazi should lose their places and be replaced by Targett and Jota.
Mepham, Cook, Ake,
Smith, Lerma, Billing, Rico,
*Bournemouth still has injury problems, with key players like Brooks and Cook missing once again.
Both teams will need to improve defensively this season if they want to reach their goals. Aston Villa will be hoping the Holt End’s support can roar them on to victory and that new signing Wesley will get on the score sheet. Aston Villa were magnificent at home in the Championship, scoring goals for fun. Dean Smith will expect his team to continue that vs Bournemouth. The Cherries will try and frustrate Aston Villa and their fans by sitting deep and trying to use their speed on the counter attack. They will need to find their fluency this weekend as they won’t be able to compete physically with the Aston Villa team. I predict Aston Villa to come out all guns blazing at home and try to get the first goal. The fans will be expecting a lot from their team, as the club spent a lot of money during the transfer window. Bournemouth will try and use Villa’s eagerness to create chances on the break.
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change