As most of the Premier League have now played two games, Dean Smith’s Villa prepare to kick off their Premier League campaign a week later against Sheffield United. The game will be live on Sky Sports in the new 6pm Monday evening slot.
It is such a weird feeling because there is a buzz amongst the Villa faithful following last season’s great escape heroics and the majority are pleased with the transfer business so far this summer. Villa Park should have been buzzing tomorrow night. Although I am loving the amount of football on the television at the moment, it’s just not the same is it? I am sure I am not alone when I say I am missing a match day at Villa Park.
I fully expect Villa to kick off their season full of confidence but it won’t be easy against Chris Wilder and his well drilled Sheffield United side. Although I don’t feel they will have the same success as they did in their first season in the Premier League, they should have enough about them to avoid any talk of a relegation scrap. This is the aim for us, so we must be looking to beat these sides, especially at Villa Park.
Sheffield United kicked off their campaign in a 0-2 defeat to Wolves following two goals inside the opening six minutes of the game. In mid-week they were knocked out of the League Cup when Burnley beat them 6-5 on penalties after finishing the 90 minutes 1-1.
Wilder will certainly have his side up for this game as they look for their first win of the season and they will look for a bit of revenge on a Villa side they felt hard done by last season. We all remember the goal that never was, they certainly do – it is constantly brought up on social media!
Villa will be without Bjorn Engels who has a thigh injury. Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa are Smith’s first choice but there are no signs of the Belgium defender coming in anytime soon with Smith confirming he has a thigh strain.
Despite returning to Birmingham this week, Brazilian striker Wesley is still some way off after he injured his ACL in Villa’s New Year’s Day victory over Burnley. The striker who admitted breaking down in tears following the injury has been ruled out for the remainder of the calendar year.
There is slightly better news on goalkeeper Tom Heaton who also injured his ACL in the 1-2 win over Burnley. The former Burnley keeper is expected back around mid-October but Smith has made it clear that he won’t put any pressure on the 34-year-old who will have to battle Emiliano Martínez for the number 1 jersey.
Martínez alongside fellow new signings Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins could all be in line to make their league debut for the club. Bertrand Traore signed too late to feature.
Sheffield United will be without striker Lys Moussett, who continues his recovery from a toe ligament injury.
Wilder may make changes from his Premier League opening defeat after several players impressed in their League Cup penalty shoot out defeat against Burnley.
Video via avfc.co.uk
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistants: Eddie Smart, Derek Eaton. Fourth official: Simon Hooper. VAR: Mike Dean. Assistant VAR: Darren Cann.
DID YOU KNOW?
If Aston Villa are able to beat Sheffield United, it will be the first time they have won a third consecutive home game in the Premier League since October 2007.
Sheffield United have not lost in each of their last four league matches against Aston Villa.
I am excited and hopeful that Villa kick off their season with a victory. I am a Aston Villa supporter however and know full well that they can easily disappoint. With all the goals in the Premier League this weekend, you would probably be safe to put a bet on that this game would end goalless.
I will stick with how I feel though and go for a home win. Villa 2-0 Sheffield United.
Enjoy the game. Up the Villa!