Aston Villa face Bournemouth on Saturday and Unai Emery has named a strong starting XI as we look to secure back-to-back home wins.
Villa are unbeaten in our last three having picked up two wins and a draw, scoring four goals and conceding just one as we’ve found an important balance to become more defensively sound.
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However, Emery has continued to demand more from his players again this week and although we’ve seen positive signs of the control and game-management that has been speaking of for months, it’s clear that we can still improve.
After securing an important win at home last time out against Crystal Palace, it’s crucial we follow that up with another positive result in front of our home faithful, but it won’t be easy against a Bournemouth side battling for survival at the bottom of the Premier League while arriving off the back of a big win over Liverpool last weekend.
Villa will have to be at our best, and as expected, Emery has named a strong XI despite the current absentees due to injury, with Boubacar Kamara, Philippe Coutinho and Leander Dendoncker still sidelined, and so we’re unchanged from the starting line-up that faced West Ham last Sunday.
Leon Bailey keeps his place despite struggling for form, and so it will be interesting to see if there is a tweak to his role or position on the pitch to try and get the best out of him alongside the likes of Emiliano Buendia and Jacob Ramsey in the final third.
The expectation was that he could be dropped with Bertrand Traore and Jhon Duran pushing him for a spot in the side, but Emery has again shown faith in the Jamaican international.
Ollie Watkins continues to lead the line as he attempts to reach double figures in goals in the Premier League this season if he adds one more to his tally, while Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Alex Moreno form the backline.
Douglas Luiz is partnered by John McGinn in midfield again in Kamara’s absence, and so it’s hoped that that key Villa duo will be able to dictate the tempo of the game through possession, to put us in a strong position to get all three points and continue our good recent form.
Introducing your Aston Villa team to face Bournemouth! 👊 #AVLBOU pic.twitter.com/NGUJRXxWi7
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) March 18, 2023