Aston Villa are the second team to go under the microscope. Sorry for the delay on this article, Villa have proven to be a tough team to decipher. Then the weekend arrived. Never mind that, we still have 19 teams to get through! Here is a rundown of Villa’s options…
WARNING: I am not totally confident in this line-up. Yet. Villa are certainly a team I will come back to and adjust before GW 1. Delph is gone (lol) and Benteke looks gone too. This leaves holes in their team that can’t be replaced by their current squad. You can do a lot with 40 million pounds however, and they started today…
So, of this bunch who should be locks? Here are my thoughts…
Guzan looks like he’ll be the number 1 keeper once again, if you’re a fan of Aston Villa’s defence he is an option at 4.5. Do they actually exist though? I’d avoid him, the Villains are too unpredictable.
Villa’s defence should be fairly settled, I can’t see them making any more purchases following the signings of Micah Richards and Jordan Amavi. I don’t think Villa would spend so much money and not plan to have them in the starting XI. Hutton was a regular under Tim Sherwood, so I’m tipping Richards will replace Ron Vlaar. It would shift Okore down the pecking order, I reckon Clark will start ahead of him. Amavi should replace Richardson at left back, having been purchased from Lille for 9 million pounds. At 21 don’t expect him to light the league on fire, but he’s a great talent. Cissokho and Richardson seem like back-up. I can’t fit Bacuna in, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start. He can play on either side as a wing back and has set piece duties in his locker. 5.0 for a Villa defender though? No thank you.
The spot Delph is vacating is surely going to be filled by a new name. After his U-Turn move to Man City and the departure of Cleverly (A regular starter on loan last season) there’s not much to pick from right now. Gueye has just been signed from French side Lille for 9 mil, so you can expect him to feature. He is a box-to-box midfielder, but more renowned for his defensive capabilities. I suspect he may replace Sanchez in defensive midfield if Villa sign an attacking mid, which I fully expect to happen. His scoring record speaks for itself, he’s not worth the 5.0 price tag.
Westwood should get a role in the middle of the park, whether he can translate that to points is another matter. Sanchez should start as a defensive midfielder, avoid him unless you like yellow cards.
On the wings, Grealish looks your best bet. He will start on the flanks, most likely from the left. Whether he can do enough to justify selection in fpl is another thing entirely, I’m sure he’ll be covered down the track. N’Zogbia is likely to play on the right, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Villa dip into the transfer market here either. Sinclair wasn’t first choice for Sherwood by the end of last season and will be fighting for a spot in the first XI.
I don’t like Gabby up front. Benteke to Liverpool isn’t confirmed yet, but it seems as good as a done deal. If he does go, they will splash the cash on a decent striker for sure. I can’t see Kozak getting the gig, even though he was returning from injury last season. Villa need to buy someone who will deliver them goals…
So, here are the prospects…
50/50 – If Sinclair can get ahead of N’Zogbia in the pecking order then he could provide great value at 5.0. He is a wait and see prospect at this stage.
Lock – None.
Breakout – Grealish is definitely set for a breakout season. Even though he only managed 1 assist last season, his underlying stats were impressive. The big question is if Villa can provide enough attacking threat without Benteke. At 5.0 he is worth a look.
Avoid – Agbonlahor. Don’t touch him! Sherwood has pumped him up, but he won’t score more than 10 goals this season.
There you have it. I’ll be back with Chelsea’s line-up tomorrow!