The wait is almost over as Villa are now poised to restart the Premier League following an enforced Covid-19 break.
The world is watching, with Sheffield United the visitors at a behind closed doors encounter at Villa Park.
Context is important, with Villa in desperate need of a win having fallen into the relegation places prior to lockdown.
Whilst form is decidedly out of the window, we were on a run of four straight league defeats, including a resigned 4-0 loss away at Leicester City.
More positive was the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City. Whilst this ended in a runners up medal, there was a demonstration that promise exists within the squad.
Villa ran City closer than many could have predicted, pegging them back after a fine headed goal from Samatta, before Engel’s almost levelled the tie at the death. If Villa can summon a performance such as this at 6pm, then we could surprise a few people yet.
Our opponent’s Sheffield United arrive in great shape in the league. Promoted alongside Villa from the Championship last season, United secured their top flight status automatically alongside Norwich City.
The Blades are lead by their astute and no-nonsense boss Chris Wilder. He has steered them to 7th position, with an opportunity to leap-frog Manchester United into 5th with a victory. Whilst arguably premature, there is the allure of achieving European qualification at the first attempt.
However, any victory for The Blades doesn’t bear thinking about for us, with Dean Smith urgently needing to get Villa out and clear of the drop-zone. Whilst Sheff Utd represent a tricky opponent, we are faced with sterner tests on our run in, meaning this game is likely circled as ‘must-win’.
We have prepared a detailed and comprehensive match preview here.
Aston Villa team to face Sheffield United at Villa Park is now confirmed:
Reina, Taylor, Nakamba, Trezeguet, Borja, Samatta, Jota, Elmo, Vassilev
The big news is that Villa are helped by the return of Scottish Writers International Player Of The Year, John McGinn.
The very latest Villa team news featuring McGinn, Steer, Wesley and Heaton can be found here.
Sheffield United have no injury concerns ahead of the match.
Villa go into the game with no pre-existing suspensions either.
As usual we look to the betting markets to get a feel for Villa’s fortunes:
The current Premier League table as it stands before kick-off:
We think that this will be a tight game, with Villa ultimately coming out victorious by a single goal margin.
VillaUnderground.com Result Prediction: Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United
We fancy the first (and only) goalscorer to be Jack Grealish. Let us know who you think will score first for Villa in our first goalscorer poll below? If you are feeling confident about your prediction you can get a free £1 bet via Ladbrokes app no deposit from Bet and Skill.
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First Villa Goalscorer
- Samatta (40%, 23 Votes)
- McGinn (18%, 10 Votes)
- El Ghazi (12%, 7 Votes)
- Grealish (11%, 6 Votes)
- Hourihane (9%, 5 Votes)
- Luiz (5%, 3 Votes)
- Mings (4%, 2 Votes)
- Engels (2%, 1 Votes)
- Targett (0%, 0 Votes)
- Guilbert (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 57