Aston Villa returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park. Goals from Jack Grealish and James Chester proved enough to give Dean Smith his second win as Villa manager.
We have rated the starting XI. Let us know if you agree with our ratings in the comments section below:
Orjan Nyland – 6
Since Smith’s arrival, Nyland has become more confident. Claiming and distributing balls with more reliability. Yet, moments of madness still linger in his improved performances.
Alan Hutton – 6
Looked a threat down the right channel, supporting Adomah in the final third. A better performance against Bolton who offered very little attacking threat.
James Chester – 8
A goal at one end and the preservation of one at the other. The club captain undoubtedly played his best performance of the season, leading by example again.
Axel Tuanzebe – 7
Starting to form a decent partnership with Chester. Axel seems confident in a Dean Smith system.
Neil Taylor – 6
Once again, whilst Neil certainly suits the left side better than Hutton amongst others, his attacking threat is limited. On many occasions, the attack seems to slow down, if not break down completely – when Taylor becomes involved.
John McGinn – 7
McGinn won the free kick, which made the all-important second goal. Whilst his tenacity and enthusiasm in the middle of the park is irreplaceable.
Conor Hourihane – 6
The man with the most assists in the league is a constant threat from all set-piece scenarios. It’ll be interesting to see if he can form a partnership with McGinn as the season develops.
Albert Adomah – 6
I doubt we’ll ever see Albert’s electric form of last year. But he offers you width, pace and the defensive intelligence that others can’t. The question is, can Smith afford to leave out the skills and quality of both Yannick Bolasie and Anwar El Gahzi?
Johathan Kodjia – 5
Didn’t get involved enough against a very weak Bolton side. His pace and power should overpower most championship full-backs, yet Kodj doesn’t show this on a consistent basis.
Jack Grealish – 8
Showing glimpses of his best from last season, Jack won us the game.
His quality to firstly score then assist proved the difference. Needs to keep this form up.
Tammy Abraham – 6
Tammy links up well, dropping short when necessary to bring the wingers involved. However – whilst I’m sure he will – Tammy must take all the chances that fall for him.