Preview: Aston Villa open 2022/23 Premier League season at Bournemouth

Aston Villa will travel south to Bournemouth for a season-opening fixture on Saturday afternoon.

Steven Gerrard is set to lead Villa out for his first full season as manager and will look to improve on a disappointing 14th-place finish last year.

Villa were busy early in the summer transfer window but have since been quiet. In addition to securing a permanent deal for attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, Villa completed the transfer of central defender Diego Carlos from Sevilla and signed defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer.

With no significant outgoings yet or expected, Gerrard should be pleased with the depth of his current squad. The club could splash for another midfielder or forward, but there aren’t currently any glaring needs.

Newly-promoted Bournemouth are relegation candidates having struggled for recruitment this summer. Manager Scott Parker will rely heavily on a squad similar to that which got Bournemouth promoted from the Championship.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JULY 23: Leon Bailey of Aston Villa unsuccessfully takes on the keeper David De Gea of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Optus Stadium on July 23, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

The Cherries have won the last three meetings between the sides having most recently triumphed, 2-1, on February 1, 2020. Villa’s last win over Bournemouth came on August 8, 2015, when Rudy Gestede scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory.

Villa went undefeated in preseason (4-1-0) while Bournemouth enter Saturday having lost their previous three preseason fixtures.

Bournemouth vs. Aston Villa team news

Villa are healthy heading into Matchweek 1 with all first-team members available for selection.

Emi Buendia, Tyrone Mings, and Calum Chambers–who all picked up knocks before the preseason finale at Rennes last weekend–are fit for Gerrard’s selection.

At Rennes, we saw Coutinho and Leon Bailey play behind Ollie Watkins in attack. Expect the same on Saturday with the now-healthy Ezri Konsa alongside Carlos in central defense.

Parker could be without Joe Rothwell, David Brooks, and new singing Ryan Fredericks. Losing the trio is a blow for an already thin Bournemouth side set to fight for their lives in 2022/23.

Aston Villa projected Starting XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Carlos, Digne; Kamara; McGinn, Douglas Luiz; Bailey, Watkins, Coutinho

Bournemouth projected Starting XI: Travers; Stacey, Mephan, Kelly, Zemura; Cook, Lerma, Billing; Christie, Solanke, Anthony

Date/time: Saturday, August 6 at 3:00 PM BST/10:00 AM EST

Ground: Vitality Stadium

Referee: Peter Bankes

TV/Streaming UK: N/A

TV/Streaming US: Peacock

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