Aston Villa Betting Tips & Season Preview

Dean Smith 15 Jul 2019
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish in action (PA Images)

After returning to the Premier League via the play-offs last season, can Aston Villa establish themselves back in the top tier this term?

For many football fans of a certain vintage it was almost unthinkable that Aston Villa could ever be relegated from the top division. The Midlands outfit had been one of only seven teams to remain in the Premier League since it’s inception in 1992 when they were relegated at the end of 2015/2016 season but after a few years of struggling towards the foot of the table they finally succumbed to demotion to the Championship in that campaign.

Having missed out on promotion via the play-off final in their second campaign at that level, the Villains managed to win out on the Wembley turf back in May to ensure they would be returning to the top tier and with ambitious new owners having taken over at the start of that campaign, they’ll be hoping to quickly establish themselves as a top tier club once again with boyhood fan Dean Smith at the helm.

Aston Villa Betting Specials

To win the league – 1000/1
To finish in the top ten – 9/2
To be relegated – 2/1
To finish bottom – 4/1
To stay up – 4/11

All odds from William Hill

2018/2019 Season

After missing out on promotion in the Championship play-off final in the 2017/2018 campaign, Villa started the new campaign in a poor financial situation, but even following the takeover of the club by the NSWE group, Steve Bruce was unable to get the same kind of consistency out of the side that he had managed the following year. As such, with the club struggling in mid-table, it came as little surprise to anyone when he was relieved of his duties and replaced by Brentford’s Dean Smith.

A long-standing supporter of the club, Smith was quickly able to get the best out of an under-performing squad and they rose through the table in the second half of the campaign to reach the play-offs, before overcoming West Bromwich Albion and Derby County to secure promotion. A raft of intelligent loan signings, coupled with the excellent performances of Jack Grealish in the centre of the park, were enough to make Smith’s men incredibly difficult to overcome in the latter months of the campaign.

The Manager

It’s been a slow, steady but impressive rise to the Premier League for Dean Smith. A hardened lower-league centre-back during his playing days, Smith started his managerial career in 2011 with Walsall, the club at which he had started his playing career 22 years previously. After four successful years at the helm at the Bescot Stadium, Smith moved to the capital to take over Brentford, where he furthered a reputation for cultivating an attractive style of play from young, hungry players.

When his boyhood club Aston Villa came calling, Smith could not resist the chance to take over and it has been a dream ride for him so far, taking the club back into the top tier just a matter of months after taking the job. He may have to learn to be more pragmatic in a division where the Villains are less likely to be able to dominate possession but the Villa Park faithful will be behind him all the way following the special atmosphere he managed to create at the club in the closing months of the last campaign.

The New Arrivals

Villa have wasted no time in preparing for the Premier League by bringing in a handful of new signings. Unsurprisingly given how successful they proved to be during their loan spells at the club, Smith has moved to bring Anwar El Ghazi, Kortney Hause and Tyone Mings on permanent deals, with the Bournemouth centre-back’s transfer in particular raising some eyebrows at the cost of £26m.

Tyrone Mings has made his loan move a permanent one (PA Images)

The business hasn’t been limited to making loan signings permanent though. Brazilian striker Wesley has arrived from Club Brugge for £22m, Jota Peleteiro has been signed from Second City rivals Birmingham City, left-back Matt Targett joins from Southampton for £11m and young centre-back Ezri Konsa has also been recruited from Smith’s former club Brentford. With a total of seven new players having been signed we can’t see many more new players coming through the door at Villa Park before the season gets underway.

The Key Man

Aston Villa will be delighted that they managed to stave off interest from Tottenham Hotspur to keep hold of their star man Jack Grealish last summer. With the Lilywhites circling, the Villains stood firm to keep hold of their prized asset and he repaid the club by enjoying a magnificent season and helping to guide them back into the Premier League where he will now be keen to showcase his skills in the top tier of English football.

This version of Grealish is a very different one to the lightweight winger that featured for Villa during their last stint in the Premier League. Since then, he has matured both on and off the pitch and taken up a more central role, where he can utilise both his excellent dribbling skills and passing ability and he even took the armband for the final few months of the season to ensure he was the star man as he led his boyhood club back to the Premier League.

Do Villa need more Premier League experience?

Given that Aston Villa spent only three years outside the Premier League, there is a handful of players in this squad that were still with the club in their last stint at the top tier, but many of the signings they have made during their time in the Championship have never played at this level before. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that a lot of the new signings, including Enwar El-Ghazi and Wesley, have never played in the top tier of the English game before now.

In midfield, Conor Hourihane and John McGinn will be trusted to partner each other again following their fine campaigns last time out, but neither have played at this level before. Even the members of the squad that have played in the Premier League before have had fairly limited minutes at this level in comparison to others, so that lack of experience might prove to hold them back if they struggle to cope with the intensity of the Premier League.

Can Wesley Moraes provide the goalscoring touch?

One of the more interesting signings made by any Premier League club this summer has been that of Club Brugge striker Wesley Moraes for Aston Villa. The young Brazilian has come through some real hardship to reach the Premier League, so you cannot doubt his hunger for success – but does he have the quality to lead the line for a Premier League outfit or will he need some support?

With the Belgian club, Wesley managed to rack up 32 goals in 107 league appearances, but this is at a far lower level than the Premier League in terms of quality. One area that this Villa squad does look a little light is up top, with their only other established striker, Jonathan Kodjia, scoring at a rate of less than one goal in three games in the Championship – between them will they get enough goals to ensure Villa can keep their heads above water in the relegation dogfight?

Where will Aston Villa finish this season?



17th.

It’s going to be a struggle for Villa this season. With so many teams in the division now being established and having added more quality and experience to their squads in the last few campaigns, they’re swimming against the tide and in reality, there are only a handful sides that we suspect could be dragged into the bottom three this season and looking at their squad, the Villains are certainly among them.

It will be absolutely key for Dean Smith to ensure a positive atmosphere remains at Villa Park after the excellent performances in the latter stages of the last campaign and with no top six sides visiting the Midlands until November, it will be pivotal for Villa to get points on the board in their early home games of the season. We think they’ll stay up, just, but it will be a real ask on their return to the Premier League.

Our Aston Villa bet of the season

It’s going to be tight, but we think Villa have a little more in the tank than a handful of other sides at the bottom of the table. Ensuring that the atmosphere remains positive and the fans are on board will be key for Dean Smith and he will be as determined as anyone, as a boyhood fan of the club, to ensure that they don’t return to the Championship this term. If the new signings hit the ground running, it may turn out to be more comfortable than we anticipate, but either way we’re backing AVFC to beat the drop this term.

Aston Villa to stay up at 8/15 with Paddy Power

Get the latest Premier League Predictions, betting tips and more here. Meanwhile, you can back our Correct Score Tips for today’s fixtures here.

Arsenal Betting Tips & Season Preview

Bournemouth Betting Tips & Season Preview

Share this with your friends

Aston Villa Betting Tips & Season Preview

After returning to the Premier League via the play-offs last season, can Aston Villa establish themselves back in the top tier this term?