Aston Villa will play their first Premier League game in three years on Saturday evening, and they couldn’t have got a much trickier opening game.
They will have to travel down to London to take on Tottenham Hotspur at their fantastic new stadium. Spurs were Champions League runner-ups last season and are always in and around the top four, so Dean Smith’s men will have to be at their best if they are to walk away with a positive result.
Villa have brought in a host of exciting new players over the course of the summer and those of a claret and blue persuasion will be quietly confident about the season ahead.
With the players that Smith has brought in, there is absolutely no reason why Aston Villa can’t do the same as what Wolves did last season. However, many fans will be content with just surviving their first season back in the top flight.
Here is our predicted Villa XI for Saturday’s game against Spurs:
GK: Tom Heaton
Heaton will definitely be Villa’s first-choice keeper this season after joining the club from Burnley over the summer.
RB: Frederic Guilbert
Guilbert has shown his class in pre-season and we reckon he will start against Spurs on Saturday.
CB: Tyrone Mings
Mings was a rock in defence for Villa last season and will definitely be in the starting XI.
CB: Bjorn Engels
It’s tricky trying to guess who Smith will pair alongside Mings, but we reckon he will go with Engels. They will be looking to form an imposing partnership.
LB: Matt Targett
With the only other option available being Neil Taylor, we are certain that Target will line up on the left flank.
Jota has been fantastic in pre-season and has been linking up very well with Guilbert. We’d be surprised if he didn’t start on Saturday.
CM: Marvelous Nakamba
We reckon Nakamba will be given the nod in order to try and nullify Spurs’ very talented midfield.
CM: John McGinn
McGinn is a vital clog in Villa’s midfield, so you can bet your bottom dollar that he will be in the starting XI on Saturday.
CM: Jack Grealish
As one of Villa’s best players, there is no way that Grealish won’t be starting against Spurs. One of, if not the first name on the team sheet.
LM: Anwar El Ghazi
El-Ghazi has practically made the left-wing position his own, so we fully expect him to start against Spurs.
ST: Wesley Moraes
Moraes will be leading the line for Villa this season, so will almost certainly be starting on Saturday.