Aston Villa started off on a nervy note in the Championship after a horrendous season in the Premier League where they got relegated. They have undergone a mini overhaul in the summer with new owners and a new manager and new players have come in to help the team attain some sort of stability. The Villans looked listless and bereft of any purpose or motivation as they went through the motions till the League ended.
Roberto Di Matteo’s first job would have been to lift the players from their slumber and try to repair their shattered self-confidence. The way Aston Villa performed in the matches leading to the inevitable relegation had got people worrying about a very possible successive relegation to League One. The intensity and graft in the Championship is understandably higher and players need to re-invent themselves in order to commit to such work-ethic and determination.
Villa started off on a demoralizing note as they lost to Sheffield Wednesday in the opening gameweek. The alarm bells started ringing and the chatter intensified when they succumbed to an embarrassing loss to Luton in the EFL Cup. Roberto Di Matteo was under immense pressure to stop the side from falling into a similar abyss and he had to make sure to turn the tide before they fell into a pattern. And to the relief of the supporters and the team they worked hard and turned things around in their 2nd match in the Championship as they saw off the challenge of Rotherham and comfortably dispatched them 3-0.
Gestede headed home from Cissokho’s pin-point cross after Tshibola had stolen the ball in the midfield before laying to Grealish, who in turn fed the ball to the left-back. The second was of similar quality as Jordan Ayew broke through the middle before feeding the ball to McCormack on the edge of the box who, with one touch, set up Gestede to lift the ball over Camp. The third was a result of Grealish’s superb solo run at the end of which he finished neatly from a tight angle.
Villa face Huddersfield tomorrow in the third match of the season. Huddersfield are in a very good shape in Championship, they won the first two matches of the new season and are undefeated in four of their last five matches in all competitions. The two teams will face each other for the first time and it is expected to be a close contest between the two sides. Di Matteo hasn’t yet zeroed in on a starting eleven and it is expected he will be tinkering with games so close to one another.
The predicted line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation is as follows below.