When a youthful Aston Villa narrowly survived relegation last season, the majority of fans and pundits claimed they’d be better off this campaign as a result of their experience battling for survival.
Just three games into the new season and it appears that reasoning is correct after Villa did more than just compete with three teams fighting at the top of the Premier League. Despite recently losing to both Chelsea and Liverpool, Villa’s shock 3-1 result over Arsenal on opening day was a sign of what this team can achieve.
Football fans know itwas not solely Christian Benteke who earned that win. Gabriel Agbonlahor played the sprightlyforward role to perfection while Fabian Delph (for once) held the midfield without getting booked. At the back Villa were composed and although they rode their luck at times Ron Vlaar and Antonio Luna can be pleased with the development of their partnership.
The togetherness that eventually earned Villa safety last season was evident during their 2-1 loss to Chelsea and they were desperately unlucky not to net a handful versus Liverpool last weekend. The green shoots of progress were clear at Villa Park, with Paul Lambert’s men recording 17 shots at goal to Liverpool’s five.
Going forward this team look a threat and, while Christian Benteke will always take the headlines, the Belgian needs service to put his chances away. Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann and Ashley Westwood are all capable of providing and there is a confidence in the side that wasn’t there last season.
These Villa players went through their bad patch and escaped unharmed, which is why they will continue to play competitive football even if the results don’t go their way. Fans who bet with Betfair can expect a mid-table finish for Lambert’s men who know how to scrap if necessary.
After battling through three difficult fixtures, the latest Premier League odds suggest that Villa can expect to pick up maximum points against Newcastle and Norwich soon and get their campaign fully underway.
Written by Alex Corcoran
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