Matchweek 2 is upon us as Aston Villa Football Club host Bournemouth at Villa Park. Fresh off of an encouraging defeat at Spurs, can Dean Smith’s squad rebound with three points?
It might only be mid-August, but injuries are already piling up for both clubs ahead of a Premier League contest. Aston Villa are without the services of James Chester until early September due to a muscle problem.
New ankle injuries to Kortney Hause and Jonathan Kodjia are now concerns as well; both players are ruled out for Saturday.
For Eddie Howe and Bournemouth, his injury list almost constitutes a full starting XI. Simon Francis, Lewis Cook, David Brooks, Junior Stanislas, Dan Gosling, Lloyd Kelly and new signing Arnaut Danjuma are all out with various tears, pulls and knocks.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Tyrone Mings after the two clubs agreed to a £20-million deal for the defender last month. Villa’s massively important centre-back gets his home season debut against his former club.
Dean Smith calls upon his familiar 4-3-3 system with Douglas Luiz in for Conor Hourihane as the only switch.
Once again there is no place for Fred Guilbert as Ahmed Elmohamady is preferred at right full-back. Neil Taylor beats out Matt Targett again on the left after a good showing last weekend. Keinan Davis replaces the injured Kodjia as the only change on the bench.
Here is Eddie Howe’s team:
Goalscorer Chris Mepham drops out of the team as Howe switches from a back three to a 4-4-2 for this fixture. Villa will need to place special attention on the front four of: Josh King, Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Liverpool’s Harry Wilson.
Up the Villa!