The club who assisted in sacking Roberto Di Matteo returns for more. This time, a new man leads Aston Villa – and he has the home advantage.
On October 1st, 2016, Preston North End defeated Aston Villa Football Club 2-0. Then manager, Roberto Di Matteo, was promptly sacked the next day after accumulating a single win in eleven league matches.
This time, the tides have changed. At the beginning of the campaign Preston sat rooted near the bottom of the Championship. A recent surge in results have seen the club leap-frog Villa by four points.
Former Villans, Callum Robinson and Daniel Johnson are absolutely lighting it up at Deepdale. The two combine for ten goals and five assists in 3,850 minutes of league football.
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- Aston Villa draw Hibernian or FC Luzern for Europa Conference League play-off
- Aston Villa sign winger Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen
- Aston Villa close in on deal to sign Pau Torres from Villareal
Even more impressively so, Preston completed a permanent deal for Irish winger, Daryl Horgan. You may remember him as a one time Aston Villa target.
Horgan received one Championship start already and he may very well line up against the claret and blue on Saturday.
PROJECTED ASTON VILLA XI (4-2-3-1): Johnstone; Hutton, Chester, Elphick, Amavi; Jedinak, Westwood; Adomah, Grealish, Green; McCormack.
SUBSTITUTES: Bunn, Toner, Bacuna, Gardner, Tshibola, Davis, Agbonlahor.
Post Aly Cissokho loan deal, Aston Villa have exactly two healthy fullbacks on their roster. Two. Three if you count Leandro Bacuna, who can fill-in at several positions.
Kevin Toner could occupy a bench spot while Nathan Baker continues to heal from a hamstring strain.
In addition, look for André Green in the starting lineup. He impressed Steve Bruce greatly with his possession abilities under duress. Green is capable of starting on either wing.
The reintroduction of Jack Grealish into the starting eleven may be enough to boost Villa’s ground attack. Coupled with Ross McCormack and the aforementioned Green, the trio could excite Villa Park’s disgruntled faithful.
For all our sanity Steve Bruce: please do not start Gabby Agbonlahor. Signed, everyone.
Kickoff is 10:00AM Eastern Time.