Aston Villa start our 2020-21 Premier League campaign at home to Sheffield United on Monday evening.
The Blades were beaten 0-2 at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, whilst we weren’t in action due to the Premier League allowing Manchester City an extra week off for their participation in the Champions League last month.
Since then, we’ve completed the signing of goalkeeper Emi Martinez, striker Ollie Watkins and tied Jack Grealish down to a new five-year deal.
Wesley and Bjorn Engels are both missing through injury whilst Dean Smith started a number of players in our 3-1 EFL Cup victory at Burton Albion on Tuesday night that can be expected to start this game too.
Matty Cash could be in line for his debut at right-back, whilst Ollie Watkins should lead the line up front, potentially supported by Jack Grealish and Trezeguet.
Opposition Team News
Oliver Norwood is the only player to have started both Sheffield United’s Premier League opener and their EFL Cup exit at the hands of Burnley midweek. The rest of the team will be fresh for Monday night’s meeting at Villa Park.
Striker Lys Mousset is the only absentee for Chris Wilder’s team. The Blades haven’t made any notable signings during the transfer window so far. Aaron Ramsdale, fresh from his relegation from Bournemouth, has replaced Dean Henderson in goal. Full-backs Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe have been signed from Derby County, and Oliver Burke from West Bromwich Albion.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Emi Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matthew Targett; John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Conor Hourihane; Trezeguet, Ollie Watkins, Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish’s influence in the final third will be important if we’re to go for the victory in our opener, as the England international did midweek in the cup.
Sheffield United (3-5-2): Aaron Ramsdale; Chris Basham, John Egan, Jack O’Connell; George Baldock, Sander Berge, Oliver Norwood, John Lundstram, Enda Stevens; Oliver McBurnie, David McGoldrick
Club record signing Sander Berge could come into the starting lineup, whilst Sheffield United create a lot of chances down the wings through their wingbacks.
0 – We failed to score in either game versus Chris Wilder’s team last season (0-2 and 0-0).
4 – Sheffield United have lost their last four Premier League games.
39 — The Blades scored just 39 goals last season, two fewer than us.
Although our head-to-head record versus Sheffield United was poor last season, there’s every reason we can get a result on Monday, if not all three points.
Sheffield United have made a poor start in both the Premier League and EFL Cup this season, our form at the very end of last season was better, and their signings have not been very ambitious.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Sheffield United
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