Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Aston Villa’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.
Manager: Paul Lambert.
Captain: Stiliyan Petrov
Stadium: Villa Park (43,786).
Last season: 16th.
Leading scorer (PL): Darren Bent (9).
Odds: Title 1000-1. Relegation 5-1.
In: Karim El Ahmadi (£2.6m, Feyenoord), Brett Holman (Free, AZ Alkmaar), Matthew Lowton (£3.3m, Sheff Utd), Ron Vlaar (£3.3m, Feyenoord).
Out: James Collins (£2.8m, West Ham), Carlos Cuellar (Free, Sunderland), Emile Heskey (Released), Andy Marshall (Released).
Key Man – Darren Bent
The England international was injured for the majority of second half of the season and yet he ended as the club’s top goalscorer with nine goals. Now with him being fully fit and ready, he will be Villa’s key man for the season and will be looking to score the goals Villa dearly missed last time round.
18-Aug – West Ham (A)
25-Aug – Everton (H)
01-Sep – Newcastle (A)
15-Sep – Swansea (H)
22-Sep – Southampton (A)
30-Sep – West Brom (H)
Probable Formation (4-1-2-1-2): Given; Lowton, Vlaar, Dunne, Warnock; Bannan; N’Zogbia, El Ahmadi; Ireland; Agbonlahor, Bent.
Verdit: The capture of Paul Lambert was a real coup for Randy Lerner and his presence alone will be good for a few extra wins than last season. But the team has not made the necessary additions to the squad to make a drastic improvement. I can’t see a top 10 finish for the Lions but surely safe in the mid-table.