Aston Villa will begin their Premier League season with a home fixture against Sheffield United at Villa Park this evening.
The Midlands outfit will be looking to start the new season in good form after narrowly beating off the threat of relegation last term.
New signing Ollie Watkins will undoubtedly be the most interesting arrival, although a £17m deal for Bertrand Traore has been completed ahead of the match. However, it is unlikely that he will start or play a part against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, given how little time he has had to train with his new teammates and adjust to life in Birmingham.
Wilder’s team have already started the new season but an opening day defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers proved to be a slight setback, as did their midweek Carabao Cup exit at Burnley.
Emiliano Martinez has signed for Villa from Arsenal and the Spaniard will be expected to play in goal as Tom Heaton continues his recovery from injury. In-front of the former Gunners man, recent arrival Matty Cash is expected to play on the right, whilst Matt Targett will play on the opposite side, leaving Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa to occupy the centre-back berths.
Smith has not changed his midfield too much over the summer and you can expect Conor Hourihane, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn to play in a midfield three, having impressed together towards the end of the last season.
Jack Grealish will likely feature on the left side of Villa’s attack, with 2019/20 survival run-in hero Trezeguet on the other flank, playing either side of Watkins.
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