I, like most Aston Villa fans, was excited by our return to the Premiership last weekend. I am sure I am not alone when I say, I can’t wait to return home. To Villa Park. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side will be the visitors and will want to spoil the day for Dean Smith’s men.
We all know what happened last weekend against Tottenham. Despite a very positive first-half performance, a dodgy VAR/refereeing decision and Harry Kane, it just wasn’t to be. Tomorrow is different though.
Bournemouth continues to establish themselves in the Premiership but I consider them a rival this season. I believe they will be a side around us in one way or another when the season closes in May next year. If Villa is to survive or do more as Christian Purslow stated, these are the games we need to try and be successful in.
Cherries fans will also look at this game as a winnable one. Peter Bell spoke to us earlier this week and he even predicted that we would finish 19th in the Premiership. Let’s hope we can prove Peter and any other doubters wrong, starting tomorrow.
James Chester, Jonathan Kodjia and Kortney Hause will all miss the game against Bournemouth.
Chester (hamstring) and Hause (ankle) are still trying to recover from injuries picked up in pre-season. Kodjia picked up an ankle injury in the defeat to Tottenham last weekend.
Bournemouth will be without Arnaut Danjuma and Lloyd Kelly through injury. Lewis Cook is closing in on a return but is still thought to be a few weeks away from a return.
Andrew Surman and Harry Wilson are both fit and available to play. Dan Gosling is still working back from an operation.
WHAT DID THE MANAGERS SAY
Dean Smith touched upon the return to Villa Park:
“I’m excited. It’s a full house – we’ve captured the imagination of Villa supporters and we need to make sure Villa Park is big for us this season,” he stated in the official press conference.
“It needs to be a tough place for people to come, like last season.”
And Bournemouth boss, Eddie Howe:
“We didn’t play [well] last week, and we didn’t quite get over the line either, but we made sure we got a point out of the game.
“Every match is a chance for us to win and for us to have the opportunity to play as well as possible.”
HEAD TO HEAD
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Tickets: Sold out