What do Aston Villa need to do this season?

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Smith has helped Hourihane improve his game

The goal of any newly promoted team to the Premier League is to avoid relegation back to the championship in the first season. An opportunity to build towards greater things will come in the future but the first target must be to stay in the Premier League come to the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

At the time of writing, Aston Villa have played 12 matches in the Premier League this season and have 11 points to their name. This leaves them just one place and 3 points clear of the relegation zone. However, The Villans are also just 3 points adrift of 14th place Tottenham Hotspur and there is plenty still to play for this season. Betfair offer 9/4 for Aston Villa to be relegated this season.

The question is, what do Aston Villa need to do this season in order to stay in the Premier League and maybe even push into the top half of the table?

Arguably the major concern at present is the defence. Having played 12 games in the Premier League, only three teams have a worse defensive record and all three of these teams are below Aston Villa in the relegation zone. Therefore, shoring up the defence has to be a major priority as the season develops.

Tyrone Mings has enjoyed an international call up for England while his central defensive partner, Bjorn Engels Is playing his first season in English football following a permanent transfer from French club Reims. Frederic Guilbert, Neil Taylor, Matt Targett and Ahmed El Mohamady have all been used in the full-back positions, with the former getting the most game time having signed for the club in the previous January transfer window.

Doulas LuizIn fact, Aston Villa will not afraid to splash the cash during the summer transfer window following their promotion. The club brought in Wesley, Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz, Matt Targett, Ezri Konsa, Marvelous Nakamba, Trezeguet, Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Jota and Kortney Hause, many of which have started regularly in the Premier League.

Therefore, perhaps it is more a question of time rather than looking to try and strengthen the defence by buying more players in the upcoming January transfer window. Dean Smith has had his work cut out trying to blend all of his new signings into the starting XI at Villa Park. It is never going to be easy making the step up from the championship to the Premier League and sometimes that can become more difficult when adding so many new players to the squad.

One area of the pitch where Aston Villa have not been lacking this season is in the attack. They have scored 17 goals in 12 Premier League matches which is more than all but one team in the bottom half of the table and that team is Tottenham Hotspur. Looking into the top half of the table and it becomes apparent Aston Villa have scored more goals than Arsenal, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield United.

The goals have been shared around the team but new striker Wesley Is the leading goal scorer with 4 goals to his name. However, with three attacking players selected in Smith’s favoured formation, Aston Villa could do with another player in attack to take the workload off Wesley. Perhaps there is room for a potential return to the club for Christian Benteke or maybe a move north of the border for Alfredo Morelos of Rangers would be the better option.

The fitness of Jack Grealish is also vital to any success Aston Villa will enjoy. Keeping the Englishman fit and becoming defensively sound are perhaps the two most important things Aston Villa need to do this season. If they can do that, a top-half finish is not out of the question and Bet365 offer 7/1 for that to happen.

What does seem to be working well, at least off the pitch this season is the marketing side of a Villa sponsorship for shirt sponsors W88. They are huge over in Asia and the deal with Villa is an attempt to get some needed coverage over in the UK and Europe. They face huge competition in the UK with hundreds of bookies now online, offering up sports, casino and poker.

For those of you out there that may have signed up to Gamstop but have regretted doing so, be aware that you are still going to be able to play real money poker games online or on your mobile devices.

If you do still want to play online, there are several non Gamstop poker sites at which you will be made very welcome at, and you are going to be able to sign up to those sites and apps in a  matter of minutes, make a deposit and then play any real money poker game variants, or enter any real money poker tournaments you fancy playing in taking part in.

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