Aston Villa’s first game back in the Premier League after a three year absence ended in a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur,but it was a performance that will have given Villa fans plenty of encouragement for the season ahead.
Aston Villa took the lead early on thanks to a fine finish by John McGinn and fine performances from Tyrone Mings, Bjorn Engels, and Tom Heaton helped to keep the home side out for over an hour. However, Spurs’ class showed in the end and three goals in the final 15 minutes or so meant that Villa left with nothing.
Despite the concession of three late goals, Dean Smith wouldn’t have been too upset with his team’s performance as they showed that they can compete with one of the best teams in the league.
Next up for Smith’s men is a home match against Bournemouth and if they play how they played for 75 minutes against Spurs, there is no reason why they cannot get their first win on the board.
Here is how we predict Villa to line up on Saturday afternoon:
GK: Tom Heaton
Made a number of decent saves against Spurs and will certainly be starting on Saturday.
RB: Frederic Guilbert
Didn’t play against Spurs, but we expect to see him start at the weekend.
CB: Tyrone Mings
Had a fantastic game against Spurs and will definitely be starting against his former club on Saturday.
CB: Bjorn Engels
Engels was also very good against Spurs, so we expect to see him line up alongside Mings at the weekend.
LB: Matt Targett
Didn’t play against Spurs, but he is surely a better option at left-back than Taylor, so we reckon he will start against Bournemouth.
Jota was Villa’s standout performer in the pre-season matches, so it was a bit surprising to see him on the bench last weekend. However, we think he will start on Saturday.
CM: Douglas Luiz
Hourihane was pretty anonymous against Spurs, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see Luiz make his Villa debut.
CM: John McGinn
Mcginn was outstanding against Spurs and will definitely be in the starting XI at the weekend.
CM: Jack Grealish
As club captain Grealish will certainly be starting on Saturday.
El Ghazi struggled with the physicality that Spurs showed, so we think Trezeguet might start on the left-wing.
ST: Wesley Moraes
Had a pretty poor game against Spurs, but he definitely won’t be dropped for the game at the weekend.