Our Aston Villa FPL team guide is plagued with the usual “ifs” and “buts” that accompany any newly promoted team profile.
Villa, the beneficiaries of a compelling Championship play-offs, will arrive in the Premier League with the self-assurance of an established, institutional club that has spent most of its many years in the top flight. Even when Dean Smith’s side wasn’t in the Premier League, they were a Premier League club.
Or, at least, that’s what anyone associated with the club believes. Whether they can compete at the required level still remains to be seen.
As does their FPL potential, which will need to be given some time to develop. One thing is for certain, however: the midlands club won’t be lacking in any self-belief. The 2019/20 season is their manifest destiny, and they’ll do everything in their power not to squander it.
What style of football do Aston Villa play?
Dean Smith was the mastermind behind Aston Villa’s recent success, joining the side in the middle of the season from Brentford.
Smith made some intricate tweaks to his new team, adopting a more high-pressing style while improving their build-up and possession play too. Villa are blessed with talented wide players, which is shown in the quantity and quality of crosses they play per game (25.3 – the most in the 2018/19 Championship).
Villa are usually lined up in a 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 formation, where they look to overwhelm their opponents with their superiority in numbers around the ball and in important areas on the pitch.
In defence, Tyrone Mings, James Chester & Axel Tuanzebe were juggernauts. Their physical prowess and ability to dominate in the air against the more direct style of their Championship opponents proved crucial last season.
They’ve also transitioned very well into the higher line that Smith has implemented, in order to encourage the defence to contribute to his possession-based style.
If Villa can keep the loan players they depended on during their promotion-winning campaign, as well as their creative starlets in midfield, they could be a force to be reckoned with in the 2019/20 season.
Last season’s key statistics
The last time Villa featured in England’s top flight, they were relegated with the third-lowest points tally (17) and fourth-worst goal difference in Premier League history as Sherwood threw in the cagoule along with two other managers.
However, things are looking up, they have a good crop of young players and failed to find the net on just five occasions in 46 Championship matches last season.
It’s their defence that causes unease, they conceded an average of 1.32 goals per match, which is significantly higher than the likes of Sheffield (0.89) and Wolves (0.85) averaged to gain promotion.
FPL fixture difficulty
The table above shows the fixture difficulty of Aston Villa’s opening six matches, as determined by our clean sheet tracker and attacking tracker. These difficulty trackers are based on last seasons home/away specific performance statistics. Newly promoted sides statistics have been weighted according to their transitional value.
Who takes penalties for Aston Villa?
According to our data, Jonathan Kodjia is designated penalty taker for Aston Villa. The backup penalty taker for Aston Villa is Jack Grealish.
Tammy Abraham was the designated penalty taker for them last season in the Championship, but he has since returned to parent club Chelsea. New signing Wesley could hinder Kodjia’s game time, but it’s unlikely he’ll become a penalty taker. He has only taken one penalty in his career.
Aston Villa’s new signings
Anwar El Ghazi (Lille)
Wesley (Club Brugge)
Kortney Hause (Wolves)
Matt Targett (Southampton)
Tyrone Mings (AFC Bournemouth)
Ezri Konsa (Brentford)
Which Aston Villa players to pick on FPL?
In the middle of the pitch, Villa can boast three creative outlets who are up there with even some of the Premier League’s best in John McGinn (£5.5m), Conor Hourihane (£6.0m) and the ever-popular captain Jack Grealish (£6.0m).
These three provide a mix of passing range, game intelligence and ball mastery to create moments of gold for the Villains. Between them, they provided 26 combined assists in the league last season.
Many of Villa’s stalwarts in the promotion season were loaned players, and whether they can regroup these players will play a big part in their potential success in the 2019/20 Premier League season. They’ve already made moves in the market with the permanent signing of Anwar El Ghazi (£5.5m) from LOSC Lille and the young Brazilian striker Wesley (£6.0m) from Club Brugge to fill Abraham’s void.
Jack Grealish will come into the new season as the probable main-man for the club, and fans will have high expectations on the young captain to be the source of inspiration and maybe even the difference between survival and relegation.
Aston Villa 2019/20 Predicted Lineup