Preview: Chelsea Vs Aston Villa

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has probably run out of individuals or bodies to blame following Chelsea’s poor start to the season. The doctors and physio have been blamed. Match officials and the FA have also taken some share of the blame. The star players of the team have also not been exempted. And of course, Arsene Wenger. Chelsea were taken apart by Southampton two weeks at Stamford Bridge despite taking the lead. Their defence has been poor with Ivanovic being the main culprit. The Serbian defender will miss the game due to injury but there will probably be no Chelsea fan that will lose sleep over this. The Serbian has been poor this season but has somehow managed to survive the chop.

Chelsea have another opportunity to kick-start their season yet again against an Aston Villa that has failed to win since the opening day victory at Bournemouth. Villa have picked up just one point since then and even with Chelsea’s current predicaments, the Champions will be expected to get a positive result against the Birmingham side who are having their worse start of a top flight season. Tim Sherwood will be looking to avoid a fifth consecutive league defeat. Mourinho will have to find a way to shore up his defence. Their defence has leaked in at least two goals in seven of their eight games.

Chelsea will welcome back Diego Costa from suspension and the Spaniard will aim to hit top form quickly to help Chelsea up the table. Aston Villa’s records at Chelsea are pretty poor and have conceded 30 goals from their last eight visits to the London club. Chelsea may have lost five of their last ten league games, but surely this is a game they will be expected to win. Villa on the other hand will hope that Chelsea will come bearing gifts.

Team News

Chelsea

Diego Costa returns after completing a three game suspension for violent conduct. Ivanovic is ruled out due to a hamstring injury sustained while on international duty. Thibaut Courtois is still sidelined with a knee injury and could return in December.

Aston Villa

Villa are still without Gabby Agbonlahor and Ciaran Clark who are both out with calf and thigh injuries. They are joined on the sidelines by Okore and Gardner.

Preview: Crystal Palace Vs Aston Villa

Palace
Zaha contests with Monreal last weekend. Image: Stuart MacFarlane

After opening day victories, Crystal palace and Aston Villa were brought down to earth after suffering defeats in their second league games. Both sides clash hoping to banish memories of defeats they suffered last weekend. Crystal Palace suffered defeat to Arsenal last weekend after matching the Gunners for long spells, before the superior quality of Arsenal eventually showed. Villa, however, were poor against Man United and never really looked like they were going to get anything from the game.

Crystal Palace enjoyed a fine 2014/2015 season following the appointment of Alan Pardew after he decided to leave Newcastle. Their improved performance and league position was mainly due to their ability to pick points away from home. Last season, the London side claimed only six home wins. They will be aiming to improve on that record and possibly make Selhurst Park a fortress and a much more difficult place to visit this season.

Aston Villa is expected by pundits and analysts to struggle this season following the departure of some key players. Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Vlaar have all departed the club while the new signings continue to settle in their new environment. Aston Villa’s recent trips to London do not give too much reason for optimism though. They have only found the back of the net twice in their last 10 visits while Palace have lost just once in the last 6 league meetings between the two sides, claiming 3 wins in those games. Villa opened the season with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth before succumbing to their usual annual defeat to Manchester United. They lacked invention and inspiration at home to United. They will need to produce a better performance against a very difficult Crystal Palace who will fancy their chances against the Birmingham side.

Team News.

Crystal Palace

Bakary Sako could make his debut after missing the Arsenal game. Marouane Chamakh and Julian Speroni remain sidelined due to hamstring and hand injuries respectively.

Aston Villa

Former Barcelona striker Adama Traore is unlikely to start as his manager stated he is short of match fitness. In his absence, Jack Grealish and Carles Gil should be available for selection after recovering from injuries picked up in pre-season.

English Premier League: Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United

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Manchester United went top of the Premier League as they maintained their perfect start to the league season and in the process extended their fanatstic run at Villa Park.

The big news before kick off was the continued exclusion of David De Gea as doubts about his Manchester United remained and refused to go away. In his absence, Sergio Romero kept his place while Adnan Januzaj was handed a rare start in place of Ashley Young.

The Belgian, who has been linked with a loan exit, scored the only goal of the match as United completed back-to-back 1-0 wins in the Premier League, and extended their unbeaten run at Villa Park in the league to 20 games.

Mata played an incisive pass to Januzaj who then evaded Richards’ sliding tackle before sending a low drive in off the post with the help of a deflection off Villa defender Ciaran Clark.

Villa offered nothing in form of attacking threat as the Man United defence had to deal with little or no pressure. Wayne Rooney also failed to impress for the second game running. Aston Villa will know that they will have to improve in attack, a side whose attack has been further blunted by the departure of Benteke.

Preview: Aston Villa Vs Manchester United

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Manchester United will be looking to extend their run at Aston Villa having not lost on one of their favourite Premier League grounds in 20 years. In fact, Aston Villa have found success against their Friday night opponents difficult to come by as they have won just once in their last 39 meetings. The Red Devils had to settle for a 1-1 draw in last season’s corresponding fixture, with Radamel Falcao scoring the equalizer. However, the home side enter this game on the back of a confidence-boosting opening weekend win over Bournemouth.

Key players like Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar may have departed this summer, but new recruits like Rudy Gestede have given reason for optimism. Gestede stepped up from the substitute bench to score what turned out to be the winner against Bournemouth and could be in line for his first start even though the manager admitted that he is not fully fit.

For United, De Gea will not be in contention for the game as there are doubts if he will be at the club at the end of the transfer window. United have won 32 times against Villa since the beginning of the Premier League and their talisman Wayne Rooney will look to improve his impressive goal scoring tally against Villa. He has scored 13 goals against them, more than any other side.

Michael Carrick believe that the results are more important than the quality of their game at the beginning of the season. He said: “The first game is so important. I think we found that last season as we didn’t really start well in the first game and straight away we were playing catch-up. So it was vital we won on Saturday. The performance wasn’t what we would expect, really, it was not up to the standard we want, but it was all about the result and I’m sure the performances will come in the weeks ahead.” Micah Richards comes up against a side he once regarded as a fierce rival having come through the ranks at Manchester City. He was in confident mood and hope that Villa’s poor record will be stopped on Friday; “They’ll always be special games to me, coming up against United. I can’t wait for this first one at Villa. I wish the game was right now. It will be a tough game. United will obviously be one of the favourites for the title and they have some world-class players. But we’ve recruited well. We have hungry and talented players in our dressing room and we’ll be giving it everything to get the right result.”

Team News

Aston Villa

Jack Grealish and Carles Gil are not expected to feature after been ruled by their manager and there are doubts over the involvement of Jores Okore and Gary Gardner

Manchester United

David De Gea will not be recalled to the Manchester United side against Aston Villa on Friday, Louis Van Gaal has confirmed. Argentine Sergio Romero retains his place in the starting line up after an impressive Premier League debut. Marcos Rojo remains a doubt while Phil Jones and Maroune Fellaini are ruled out with sickness (mild thrombosis) and suspension respectively.

Preview: Bournemouth Vs Aston Villa

cherries
Bournemouth celebrates winning the Championship

For Bournemouth, the fairy tale continues. The Championship winners were hailed for delivering some exhilarating and breathtaking football on their way to the title. However, they know that to survive in their first ever season in the top flight, they will need to be at their very best all through the season. Eddie Howe’s appointment has proven to be a success and the fans will believe that this side is capable of pulling some surprises over the course of the season.

Bournemouth will be looking to Sylvian Distin to provide the experience as they try to navigate through their Premier League debut. Yann Kermorgant goals were important as the Cherries claimed the title last season. 10 of his 15 league goals turned out to be the winning goals and a similar outing this season will ensure that the Cherries survive on their first attempt at the big league.

Aston Villa enjoyed something of a renaissance after the appointment of Tim Sherwood but will be hoping for a better performance than what they produced at the FA Cup final where they were comprehensively beaten by Arsenal 4-0. Their task will not be easy though following the departure of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph. Dutch defender Vlaar has also left the club on a free transfer. Aston Villa have never beaten a newly promoted Premier League side on opening day (D1 L2).

The two sides will be meeting for the first time in league competition since 1987/88 season but Villa did beat the Cherries 2-1 in the FA cup last season on their way to the finals.

Team News

Bournemouth

Summer signings Max Gradel, Lee Tomlin and Sylvain Distin are all available to make their debuts.

Aston Villa

Jordan Amavi, Jordan Ayew, Jose Crespo, Rudy Gestede, Jordan Veretout, Idrissa Gueye and Micah Richards will be expected to play some part in a new-look Villa team. Jores Okore misses out with a knee injury, while Sherwood also has concerns over the fitness of Jack Grealish, Carles Gil and Carlos Sanchez.