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What is Aston Villa’s Best Starting XI?

I have decided to use my Average Player Ratings stats to decipher who have been Villa’s best starting XI this season in the familiar 4-4-1-1 formation. The ratings started after the 6-0 defeat to Newcastle which should be taken into consideration and Carling Cup performances are included. Each player must have featured at least 3 times for Villa in the last 10 games.

With a quarter of the season gone, Gerard Houllier finds his Aston Villa side languishing in a disappointing 13th in the league. Villa find themselves with just 12 points from their opening 10 league games, hovering 3 points above the relegation zone. The key to their uninspired start to the campaign is undoubtedly down to a lack of goals with just 9 in the league this season. If you take into account the fact that Villa put 3 past West Ham on the opening day their goal-scoring record is just 6 in their last 9 games, made worse by a solitary goal in the last 4 games. Villa’s last league goal came from Marc Albrighton, who has been a revelation this year alongside the likes of Ciaran Clark. A massive 344 minutes have elapsed since the goal in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham and this must be extremely worrying for Gerard Houllier. Poor starts to the season from some big names such as Petrov, Carew, Dunne, Warnock and Ireland will have left the Frenchman with plenty to think about.

Aston Villa’s Best XI in Last 10 Games*

Brad Friedel (6.77)

Appearances: 9

Man of the Match: 2


Carlos Cuellar (6.40)      Ciaran Clark (7.00)      James Collins (6.33)       Luke Young (6.50)

   Appearances: 5               Appearances: 4               Appearances: 9               Appearances: 6

     Top Rating: 7                Man of the Match: 1        Man of the Match: 1       Man of the Match: 1


M. Albrighton (6.71)  Nigel Reo-Coker (6.80)  Barry Bannan (6.50)  Stewart Downing (6.33)

    Appearances: 7             Appearances: 10              Appearances: 4             Appearances: 9

           Goals: 1                  Man of the Match: 2             Top Rating: 7                      Goals: 3

Ashley Young (6.70)

Appearances: 10

Goals: 3

Emile Heskey (6.75)

Appearances: 8

Goals: 4

Average Team Rating: 6.61

* Player Ratings are based on my own personal judgements and opinions from individual Match Reports



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