Aston Villa will head into the 2020/21 season believing that they can fire themselves up the Premier League table after narrowly avoiding relegation last term.
Villa ended the campaign in 17th place, but with manager Dean Smith set to improve his squad the club should be in for a brighter future.
Fans have plenty to look forward to during the early part of the season, with the schedule throwing up some eye-catching fixtures. The games will give betting-minded fans the opportunity to back their predictions, and if you want to make a head start in online betting try cashing in on these horse racing tips.
With the new season just a couple of weeks away, we look at the latest state-of-play on the transfer front at Villa Part and assess the club’s chances of getting off to a positive start.
Martinez Move Makes Perfect Sense
Villa had the second worst defensive record in the top-flight last season and that issue needs to be addressed if they want to climb the standings.
The club has been linked with a move for Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez and he would undoubtedly be an upgrade on their current options.
The Argentine impressed for the Gunners towards the back end of last season and played a key role in their success in the FA Cup.
However, with Bernd Leno expected to retain his status as number one, Arsenal are believed to be open to offers for Martinez.
Abraham Return Would be a Major Boost
Smith is keen to add to quality to his forward line this summer and is rumoured to be interested in bringing Tammy Abraham back to the club on a permanent basis.
The 22-year-old is likely to be pushed down the pecking order at Chelsea following the arrival of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech at Stamford Bridge.
Abraham has said that he is willing to fight for his place, but the opportunity to be first choice at Villa could be too good to turn down.
The striker would be welcomed back with open arms by Villa fans after impressing on loan and his return would be a major boost for the club.
Opening Fixtures Offer Opportunities for Points
Villa will have an extra week to prepare for the new season, with their opening game at Manchester City postponed due to their involvement in Europe during August.
Smith’s team kick-off the campaign at home to Sheffield United on September 20, before visiting newly promoted Fulham the following Saturday.
Villa start their October schedule with a home game against Liverpool and follow up with a trip to Leicester City after the international break.
They round off the month with home games against Leeds United and Southampton – both of which should be winnable if they produce their best form.
Early Season Expectations: If Smith can make the necessary improvements to his squad, Villa should be a capable of making a strong start.
A 10-point return isn’t beyond the realms of possibility and would be a great platform to build from for the rest of the campaign.