Douglas Luiz highlights Aston Villa issues

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Douglas Luiz

Aston Villa’s slow start to the season continued on Wednesday night with a 2-1 defeat away to Arsenal. In truth, few Villains fans would have expected much from a game away to a side that was looking to maintain their 100% record.

Despite losing to the league leaders, the result continues to put pressure on Steven Gerrard who is among the favourites to be the next Premier League manager to leave their post.

Irrespective of whether Gerrard goes or someone else comes in, the man in the dugout has some serious concerns as Villa face up to a possible relegation fight.

Luiz Underlines the Problem

As Douglas Luiz equalized at the Emirates, he joined Danny Ings at the top of Villa’s scoring charts for this season. The problem is that Luiz is a defensive midfielder and he’s already equaled his tally of EPL goals from 2021/22.

A lack of firepower can cost any team and that’s something that the manager needs to address. While Ings and Luiz battle it out at the summit, Ollie Watkins is looking to add to his solitary goal which came in the 1-3 defeat away to Crystal Palace.

Former Brentford striker Watkins is often talked about as a potential transfer target for top six clubs, but his returns won’t necessarily excite those teams. He scored 11 goals last season while strike partner Danny Ings contributed seven strikes.

It could be argued that these are respectable returns for a team that finished in 14th place. The reality is, however, that Aston Villa needs more goals if they are to achieve their targets. So, do Watkins and Ings need to improve or should the club have sought replacements in the summer transfer window?

The battle to Beat the Drop

At the start of the season, Aston Villa may well have been looking to target the European places. The team may have finished in 14th place last term but that represents a decent rescue mission on behalf of Steven Gerrard, and the manager would have been aiming higher up the table with a full season in charge.

After five games of 2022/23, Villa are in the drop zone and fans are facing up to the genuine possibility of a relegation battle. There is, of course, a long way to go and independent sources are offering those supporters some hope.

Currently, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest are heavy favourites in the relegation betting markets and they are followed by Everton, Wolves, Leicester City, and Fulham. For now, Villa are merely the tenth favourites to go down.

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Villa will aim to steer away from the drop zone but this is the site to follow in terms of relegation betting.

Striking Options

The irony is that a fully fit strike force of Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins should be the envy of many clubs. It could be argued that we shouldn’t expect too much in a mid-table side but it’s worth considering Ings’ stats at Southampton.

The Saints are a similar club and Ings averaged a shade under a goal every other game in three seasons at St Mary’s. Whatever the reasons are, the strike ratio needs to improve quickly if Aston Villa are to steer clear of trouble.

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