After the rather dull international break, it’s now time to turn our attention back to all things claret and blue.
News broke mid-week that young starlet Jack Grealish had signed a new four year deal with the club, which is fantastic for him and for Aston Villa. Hailed as a die-hard Villa fan, the status of ‘club legend’ is obtainable for Grealish if he continues to progress.
The disappointing loss to Bristol City two weeks ago was something of an unexpected result, especially as the Villa boys had started the game so well. Jack Grealish capped off a fine Villa move as he volleyed from close range five minutes in to the game. Roberto Di Matteo’s men then seemingly dominated the first half but, after the Robins equalised, the momentum shifted. It was all Bristol City after that and the home side beat the Villans 3-1.
Next up is a visit from Nottingham Forest for what will be an historic fixture as two former European champions meet outside the top flight for the first time in English history. It will be the first time the sides have played each other competitvely since 1999 and goals should be expected from the new look hosts and the visitors, who have scored eleven and conceded eleven in their first five games.
Venue: Villa Park
Date: Sunday 11th August 2016
Kick-off: 13:15 (Live on Sky Sports 1)
Referee: Simon Hooper
Aston Villa: L D D W L
Nottingham Forest: W W L L W
Roberto Di Matteo told the press that new signings Albert Adomah and Jonathan Kodjia will be in contention for tomorrow’s game.
Mile Jedinak picked up a minor injury while away on international duty with Australia. It isn’t thought to be serious and he may still take part in the game.
For the visitors, influential striker Britt Assombalonga may be ruled out. Manager Philippe Montanier had initially hoped that the powerful forward would be available for this game but after suffering the terrible injury last year, when he broke his kneecap, it would make sense to rest him.
Damien Perquis should be available after recovering from a foot injury.
New signing and cult legend Nicklas Bendtner, who joined Nottingham Forest on a free transfer, will not take part in the game as he is short of match fitness.
Deadline day signings Lica, Nicolao Dumitru and Mustapha Carayol also seem short of match fitness but may feature.
Midfielder Chris Cohen is expected to miss out through injury.
The danger men
Oliver Burke, who has scored four goals already this season, was sold to German club RB Leipzig, becoming the most expensive Scottish player ever. The nineteen-year-old was attracting interest from a host of top European clubs so he would have been one to watch out for.
Should he play, club captain Chris Cohen will be looking to control the game from central midfield. The energetic and combative midfielder is an influential figure in the middle of the park and will try to impose himself as soon as possible.
Pajtim Kasami is a player who had Premiership experience with Fulham. He also scored a few great goals for the Cottagers. Despite dropping down a league with Forest, he is another player who our players will have to look out for.
The Villans will be expected to get all three points here and are the favourites with the bookmaketrs. There is added pressure for Roberto Di Matteo’s men now, especially as Villa owner Dr. Tony Xia stayed true to his word and basically funded a whole new team. With exciting players like Adomah, Kodjia, Ayew, Grealish and McCormack on display, the Villans should be playing with style and flair, aiming to collect all three points and move up the table.