Watford vs Aston Villa Preview 14/08/2021
Watford feel like the most unknown quantity of the three teams promoted to the Premier League from the Championship. The Hornets finished second in the Championship last term to earn automatic promotion.
An unknown manager in Xisco Munoz has a lot of fans wonder just how good this team will do in the Premier League. First up is a new-look Aston Villa, who are fresh off of selling their best player.
The Late Late Show. 😅 #WATAVL #ThrowbackThursday pic.twitter.com/XlQthcfcyW
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 12, 2021
Despite selling Jack Grealish to Manchester City for £100 million, Aston Villa’s recruitment has made them a better overall team. Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia (Grealish’s direct replacement), Ashley Young, and Leon Bailey have all arrived this summer.
Aston Villa’s squad looks far better on paper today than at the end of May. Dean Smith and company will be expected to do better than the 11th-place finish of last term.
If there are issues with the new signings it is the injury history of Ings and the inconsistency of Bailey. That aside, it should be remembered that Grealish missed a large chuck of last season with a calf/shin injury and the team still finished 11th.
Watford and Aston Villa last played during the former’s ill-fated 2019-20 Premier League season. The home team won both matches that campaign with Watford winning 3-0 at Vicarage Road and Aston Villa claiming a 2-1 come from behind victory at Villa Park.
Based on Aston Villa’s summer of transfers and having succeeded last season in the division, they are favourite to pick up a win to start the season.
Munoz has three names on the Watford injury list going into the weekend. Nathaniel Chalobah is suffering from an illness and is a doubt. Josh King is a doubt with a groin strain and Joao Pedro is ruled out with a knee issue.
Where are the goals going to come from? Ismaila Sarr could get on the scoresheet as the team’s main offensive threat.
Six players are on Smith’s injury list at Aston Villa. The most significant is striker Ollie Watkins. He is likely to make the squad following a knee injury.
Buendia is also nearing full fitness following a groin issue. He should make the squad as well. Meanwhile, Trezeguet, Morgan Sansone, Douglas Luiz, and Bailey are all ruled out. Luiz played for Brazil at the Olympics and Bailey is self-isolating.
Aston Villa will have Ings available and should have more than enough firepower to post a matchday 1 win at Vicarage Road. Watford will put up a fight as over 2.5 goals go into the back of the net.
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