Bournemouth vs Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

Sunday, Dec 3rd, 14:00 – Vitality Stadium

Referee: Thomas Bramall

This time last week I was expressing confidence about our Villans being able to win against the team that had led the Premier League for many weeks.  In fact, we did beat Spurs despite being scored on first and, in doing so, were able to climb into 4th position in the Premier League.

Then, we comfortably handled Legia Warsaw in the UEFA Europa Conference League Group E on Thursday and guaranteed progress to the knockout stage.  In the process, we were able to rest Ollie Watkins and confirm that Jhon Duran could fill his shoes to a satisfactory degree.  Even more encouraging was that, after months of recovery, our outstanding Alex Moreno could play a full game and contribute fully to a win. In fact, Alex did even better by scoring the all-important winner in a 2-1 victory.

Facing Bournemouth with only three wins in thirteen games and only two wins out of six home games, suggests an easy fixture.  That’s what we assumed against Nottingham Forest, and we never got out of the blocks in that game.

By the way, two of those three games the Cherries have won have been their most recent games with them dominating Newcastle at Vitality Stadium just three weeks ago. 

Fortunately, our manager knows a thing or two about the tactics of Bournemouth’s new manager, Andoni Iraola, who arrived in the Premier League after coaching success in Spain. He not only won promotion to La Liga with Rayo Vallecano, but also implemented an attractive, effective style of play.

Unai Emery’s record so far is perfect having his Villa Real team win both games when facing Iraola.  He will need to, again, prepare our Villans to be at their best if they are to prevail over a team with a very talented 21-year-old central defender, Illya Zabarnyi, an experienced goalie, Norberto Neto, and three dangerous forwards Justin Kluivert, Marcus Tavernier, and Dominic Solanke coming into form.

I would not be surprised to see us held to a draw, especially if Ollie Watkins is deemed to not be 100%.

Result Prediction:

Still, it is showing lack of faith after the team has continued to improve.  Again, I go with our Villans to win on the road.  Prediction:  Bournemouth 1, Aston Villa 2.

Predicted Villa Line-Up:

Aston Villa: Martínez, Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne, Luiz, McGinn, Tielemans, Jacobs, Diaby, Duran

Subs: Olsen, Bailey, Moreno, Lenglet, Chambers, Zaniolo, Dendoncker

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