Formed: 1874 Manager: Tim Sherwood Stadium: Villa Park Capacity: 42,788 Years in Premier League: 23 Last 3 seasons: 2014-15: 17th 2013-14: 15th 2012-13: 15th Best finish: 2nd (1992-93) Opening day fixture: Bournemouth (A), Aug 8 Last day fixture: Arsenal (A), May 15
This season’s aim:
Having staved off relegation to the Championship last year on the final day of the season, Villa fans will be wishing for a less anxious Premier League campaign this year as they seek mid-table obscurity and most importantly security. Despite reaching the FA Cup final back in May, where they eventually lost out 4-0 to Arsenal, Tim Sherwood’s Villans failed to deliver the goods in the Premier League, risking their 23-year stay in the top flight. After losing prized assets Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph to Liverpool and Manchester City respectively, boss Sherwood will be praying summer signings Rudy Gustede and Jordan Ayew hit the ground running at Villa Park or it could be another difficult campaign.
Scott Sinclair (Manchester City), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Mark Bunn (Norwich City), Idrissa Gueye (Lille), Jordan Amavi (Nice), Jordan Ayew (Lorient), Jose Angel Crespo (Cordoba), Rudy Gestede (Blackburn), Jordan Veretout (Nantes0
Darren Bent (Derby County), Enda Stevens (Portsmouth), Andreas Weimann (Derby County), Matt Lowton (Burnley), Yacouba Sylla (Rennes), Antonio Luna (SD Eibar), Shay Given (Stoke City), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Christian Benteke (Liverpool)
Star Player: Jordan Ayew
With last season’s 16-goal striker Christian Benteke signing for Liverpool, Clarets boss Tim Sherwood has drafted in the Ghana international to help fill the Belgian’s boots at Villa Park this season. The 23-year-old, who has 28 international caps, scored 13 goals in 33 appearances in all competitions for Ligue 1 outfit Lorient last season. If the club are to progress this campaign after last year’s scare at the wrong half of the table, manager Sherwood will need new additions Ayew and Gestede to adapt to the English top-flight quickly and help fellow forward Gabriel Agbonlahor fire them towards safety, while starlet Jack Grealish could become vital in helping create chances for the forward players.
Shoot’s Aston Villa blogger: Dan Bevington
Blogger’s view: “This is a huge season for Aston Villa Football Club. The departure of players such as Ron Vlaar, Fabian Delph and, most notably, Christian Benteke have left a gaping hole in the squad. However, Tim Sherwood will hope to continue with the improvements made since his arrival in February, and with some quality additions already acquired; Jordan Amavi and Idrissa Gueye to name just two, the Villans will be hoping to put an end to their recent string of relegation battles. With many more signings to be made before the transfer window shuts, it’s hard to predict a key player for the club during the 2015/16 season, but I expect Jack Grealish will continue to impress, and end the season with some assists and goals under his belt. Everyone at Villa knows how good Jack Grealish is, and come May 2016, I suspect the entire Premier League will.
Blogger’s key player: Jack Grealish
Shoot Says: Bottom half