Villa Looking to Cut Blades Down

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Aston Villa and Manchester City are both set to open their Premier League campaigns with two matches taking place this Monday.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith

Aston Villa will get their Premier League campaign underway on Monday and they will fancy their chances of registering a victory when Sheffield United visit Villa Park.

There have been a lot of changes at Villa since they dramatically avoided relegation from the top flight on the final day of last season, with big-name arrivals at the club in the form of Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Martinez, while captain and talisman Jack Grealish signed a new long-term contract.

The feeling amongst Villa supporters is that they can enjoy a more successful campaign this time around and perhaps emulate what Sheff United achieved last term, as the Blades defied the odds by securing a top-half finish.

A fast start should certainly aid Villa’s hopes of pushing up the table and they will fancy their chances of seeing off their Yorkshire rivals, who were soundly beaten by Wolves in their opening fixture.

Improved Villa Should Make Fast Start

It was clear for all to see what Villa’s problems were last season, as they struggled to score goals and keep clean-sheets.

However, the arrival of Martinez between the sticks and Watkins up front appears to have gone some way to addressing those issues and there seems to be a lot of positive energy surrounding Villa at the moment.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez
Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez warms up ahead of the Heads Up FA Cup final match at Wembley Stadium, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 1, 2020.

That good feeling was added to as Dean Smith’s side began the season with a 3-1 victory over Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup, a game that saw Watkins open his account, while Sheff United were knocked out of the same competition by Burnley.

Villa also have an impressive record against Chris Wilder’s side, particularly on home soil, as they have not lost a league match on their own patch against United since 1966 and they are priced at 33/20 to claim the spoils once again on Monday.

Wolves Looking to Continue City Hoodoo

Not many teams in the Premier League can say they have done the league double over Manchester City in the last few years, but that is exactly what Wolves achieved last season, following up a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium with a 3-2 success at Molineux.

Indeed, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have only lost once against their illustrious rivals since their return to the Premier League and they will fancy their chances of continuing that run on Monday in what will be City’s opening match of the campaign.

Wolves were impressive in their Premier League opener, seeing off Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane, and they will fancy their chances of disposing of City on home soil, as they have only lost one of their last seven top-flight games at Molineux.

However, beating Pep Guardiola’s side is easier said than done, so backing the Wolves double chance at 33/20 may be a shrewder option than going for the outright home win.

Jesus Hoping to Fill Aguero Void

City will head into the match following the confirmation that star striker Sergio Aguero is likely to miss the opening couple of months of the season with the same knee injury that kept him out of the run-in last term.

Gabriel Jesus is likely to be the man to fill the void left by the Argentine and he certainly should have no problems doing just that, as he ended last season with four goals in his final five games.

The Brazilian also netted twice in City’s last victory over Wolves in January 2019 and, even if they do not win Monday’s match, the Citizens are likely to score goals, as they have netted in nine of their last ten league matches.

Jesus struck 14 league goals in total last season and he is priced at 23/20 to get his tally up and running for the new campaign on at Molineux on Monday.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

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