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