Bournemouth make the journey to Villa Park on Saturday for a 3pm kick off in the Premier League. Neither side was victorious on the opening weekend of this campaign, with the hosts suffering a loss away from home while Eddie Howe’s men were held to a stalemate, so both teams will be fired up in search of a first victory this time around.
The home side for this affair were cruelly put to the sword by last season’s Champions League runners-up Tottenham last Saturday, with a brilliant performance for most of the game being undone by Harry Kane. John McGinn put Villa in the lead just nine minutes in with a magnificently timed strike past Hugo Lloris, and the midfielder gained many plaudits for his display. Spurs debutant Tanguy Ndombele levelled things up though, which was followed by a brace from England striker Kane in the final minutes of the tie to send the travelling faithful packing with nothing to show for their efforts.
Bournemouth were not quite so impressive in their campaign opener versus new boys Sheffield United, with a 1-1 result the final outcome on the day. Defender Chris Mepham bagged a scrappy goal after some deflections led to the ball bouncing around the box, until it landed at his feet and he quickly tucked it away. It seemed as though the points were certain to be gained by the Cherries until Billy Sharp, the Blades’ supporter as a boy, scored his dream goal two minutes from the end of regulation time to dishearten the majority of fans at the Vitality Stadium.
James Chester is expected to return from a hamstring problem later this month, but other than that there are no new injury worries for Aston Villa as of yet. They’ll be looking for another big performance from their star-man last time out, John McGinn, and if he’s on the ball there is no doubt he’ll wreak havoc at times. Jack Grealish is aiming to put his current run of 19 Premier League games without a win behind him and pick up three points here, but Villa are in need of an even better display from him this weekend.
Bournemouth’s injury list appears to just keep on growing as time goes on, with seven players now unlikely to feature. Arnaut Groeneveld probably won’t play any part, while Simon Francis, Lloyd Kelly, Lewis Cook, Junior Stanislas, David Brooks and Dan Gosling are all going to sit this one out. Howe will want more from his attackers, particularly King and Callum Wilson, with Ryan Fraser also performing below his usual standard versus Sheffield United last weekend.
Villa frustrated Spurs for most of the game on Saturday, and if they play to that level in this one there’s no question they’ll cause problems for Bournemouth in all areas of the pitch. Having invested heavily over the summer, new signing Tom Heaton stood out on debut. We can see him enjoying another positive game, and @ 3.10 you can get Aston Villa to keep a clean sheet. It will be a tight affair with neither side wanting to come away with anything less than three points, so the forward thinking players will need to be on their toes throughout. John McGinn opened his Premier League account already, and we’ve got him @ 4.20 to add to his tally with a goal this weekend. He caused so many issues with his intricate runs and play, so expect more from him in this one.