Aston Villa will attempt to make it five wins from five Premier League games when they take on Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United at Villa Park on Friday night.
The game is Villa’s second game in less than seven-days that will be on the Premier League’s scam ‘Pay per view’ service. As a website, we are part of a movement on social media against this and instead ask you donate the £14.95, or some of it, to the Aston and Nechells Foodbank (Or of course your local foodbank). #CharitynotPPV #boycottPPV
Media-darlings Leeds United have picked up seven points from their opening five games, winning two and drawing one. Bielsa has got the Premier League new boys playing some very exciting football and the media have been quick to jump on their return. In one way it is probably a shame because most other football fans have turned their nose because of the media-love in when Leeds deserve credit for their displays against both Liverpool and Manchester City.
Despite playing a game less, Villa finds themselves five points better off than Leeds. Another hard-earned victory last time out against Leicester has given Dean Smiths a maximum return to date. Long may it continue.
Keinan Davis is back in contention after returning from a calf injury he picked up during the International break. The striker is unlikely to replace Ollie Watkins and will most likely have to settle for a place on the bench.
Ross Barkley is expected to start despite revealing he has an issue with his knee after the Leicester game. Kortney Hause is still unavailable with a groin injury.
Slightly better news on our two long term casualties. Tom Heaton is not too far away from being available for selection while Wesley is stepping up his rehab.
Leeds received a major set back after England international Kalvin Phillips was ruled out for six weeks after picking up a shoulder injury in their defeat to Wolves on Monday night.
Captain Liam Cooper is a doubt with a groin problem while Diego Llorente has been ruled out with a groin strain.
Video via avfc.co.uk
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistants: Dan Cook, Sian Massey-Ellis. Fourth official: Mike Dean. VAR: Stuart Attwell. Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick.
DID YOU KNOW
Ross Barkley could become the first Aston Villa player to score in his first three Premier League games for the club since Dion Dublin in 1998.
If Aston Villa are to win, it will be the first time they have won their opening five games of the season in their history.
Leeds United are looking to win back-to-back away games for the first time since December 2002.
Like with all unbeaten runs, the pressure rises and it is no different where Aston Villa are concerned. I do like the way Leeds play but losing Phillips is a massive blow for them. For me, losing him could be seen as big as us losing Jack Grealish. For that reason alone I am going to go for a home win but it won’t be easy.
Aston Villa 2-1 Leeds