The International break is finally over and what’s even better, we have no more international football until March. Some of the Aston Villa players may have enjoyed their time with their respective countries but I am sure I am not the only Villa supporter who is glad that Villa are back in action on Saturday as Brighton & Hove Albion are the visitors at Villa Park.
Villa will welcome the Seagulls on the back of a comfortable win away at Arsenal before the November international break but will know they will be no pushovers.
Brighton may have only picked up six points from a possible eight so far this season but that doesn’t tell the complete story. They are generally a good team on the eye and have actually picked up more points on the road than they have at home. With narrow defeats against the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham, it highlights that they are capable of giving anybody a game on their day.
And let’s be honest, despite all the optimism around Aston Villa right now. It would be true Aston Villa fashion if we didn’t turn up the weekend and Graham Potter’s men left Villa Park with a comfortable win. I hope I am wrong with that last statement of course!
There is good news on the Tom Heaton front as the goalkeeper has now got some game time behind him after playing for the Under-23 and a behind closed door friendly during the international break. He isn’t expected to replace Emi Martinez between the sticks though and will most likely have to settle for a place on the bench.
Wesley Moraes is doing ball work in training but it is thought that he won’t be available for a few more weeks yet. Bjorn Engels (thigh) and Frederick Guilbert (side strain) will be missing but Kortney Hause returned to training on Thursday.
Brighton captain, Lewis Dunk will return after serving a three-match suspension. Alexis Mal Allister has been ruled out while there will be late fitness tests for Leandro Tossard and Davy Propper.
Video via avfc.co.uk
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett. Fourth official: Darren England. VAR: Chris Kavanagh. Assistant VAR: Daniel Cook.
DID YOU KNOW
Aston Villa have won three games by a margin of three or more goals this season. That’s as many as they had in the last four Premier League seasons combined.
Jack Grealish has scored four goals against Brighton, more than he has scored against any other team in his career.
Twelve of Brighton’s last fifteen points have come on the road.
As I have already mentioned, this is the kind of game you come to expect Villa to not turn up at until its too late. Without wanting to make excuses, four of our five midfielders featured in all three games for their International sides during this break also, I wonder if that will take some effect.
Aston Villa 1-1 Brighton