Predicted Aston Villa Lineup Vs Sheffield United - Watkins to start.
BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa runs with the ball during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Burton Albion and Aston Villa at Pirelli Stadium on September 15, 2020 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Mike Egerton - Pool/Getty Images)

Aston Villa will kickstart their 2020/21 Premier League campaign on Monday as they lock horns with Sheffield United at Villa Park. The Villans didn’t feature in last weekend’s run of fixtures but were seen in action in midweek when they secured a 3-1 win over Burton in the Carabao Cup. Hence, coach Dean Smith will be hoping for another positive result on Monday.

Predicted Aston Villa Lineup Vs Sheffield United

Defence 

Smith has admitted that new signing Emiliano Martinez is ready for action. So it won’t be surprising to see the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper starting in between the sticks for Aston Villa, ahead of Jed Steer and Orjan Nyland.

In midweek, Smith started with a few fringe players like Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady, as well as Kortney Hause. They all may have to settle for the bench, with Tyrone Mings being the only defensive player set to retain his place in the starting lineup.

He is likely to operate alongside Ezri Konsa, at the heart of the four-man backline with Matt Targett and new signing, Matty Cash occupying the fullback roles. It will be interesting to see how Cash performs in the Premier League following a successful season with Nottingham Forest.

Predicted Aston Villa Lineup Vs Sheffield United - Emi Martinez ready to start.
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: Emiliano Martinez of Arsenal warms up ahead of the Heads Up FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 01, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Midfield

There are a couple of surefire starters in midfield for Aston Villa including the in-form Douglas Luiz and the hard-working John McGinn. These two have the quality to make a difference and prevent Sheffield United from dominating the middle third of the pitch.

But with Smith likely to employ a 4-3-3, McGinn and Luiz could be partnered by Marvelous Nakamba as Aston Villa do need some athleticism and aggression when facing a team like Sheffield United. Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane are other options available for Dean Smith.

Attack

Ollie Watkins was quick to make an impression for Aston Villa in midweek. In what was his competitive debut for the club, the ex-Brentford attacker scored a goal against Burton and was effectively subbed off.

Watkins is more than likely to spearhead the Aston Villa attack this week. He will be partnered by Trezeguet and Jack Grealish in the wider attacking positions as Smith is likely to opt for a more technical approach against the Blades.

Alternatively, however, Grealish can be deployed in a deeper role, with Watkins shifting in a wider role, although that is unlikely as Wesley is currently out injured.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.