Newly promoted Bournemouth face a tricky Premier League encounter against Aston Villa at Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth are looking to celebrate their return to England’s top-flight after a two-season absence with victory, whilst Villa begin their first full season under Steven Gerrard who took over at Villa Park in November 2021.
Bournemouth will be without summer signing, Joe Rothwell after he suffered a quad injury during pre-season.
David Brooks (fitness) and Ryan Fredericks (calf) are both ruled out.
Aston Villa manager – Steven Gerrard could hand summer signings; Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara and Ludwig Augustinsson their competitive debuts, whilst Robin Olsen and Philippe Coutinho are available after their loans were converted into permanent transfers this summer.
Kortney Hause is Villa’s only absentee as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
- Bournemouth have won three of four previous Premier League meetings against Aston Villa (W3, L1).
- Aston Villa have won just two of four previous visits to Bournemouth (W2, L2).
- Villa won their only previous opening weekend fixture against Bournemouth, prevailing 1-0 in August 2015 through Rudy Gestede’s 72nd minute winner in the season which saw them relegated.
- All four of Kieffer Moore’s goals for Bournemouth last season in the Championship were scored after the 70th minute.
- Villa have conceded in each of their last five competitive matches (W1, D2, L2).
After two seasons outside of the Premier League, Bournemouth fans will be savouring this match but following a summer of little spending, I am intrigued as to whether their investment is enough or whether they need to go out and sign some stronger quality players.
Aston Villa meanwhile have improved their squad with Coutinho in particular looking set to be one to watch, especially if he and Jacob Ramsey can build on their promising midfield link-up as saw last season and cause major issues within the middle third of the pitch.
If there is one thing guaranteed based on pre-season though, it surely has to be goals especially from Villa who seem to have multiple goalscorers in decent form coming into this game, which could well be the difference in a competitive match where Bournemouth might need to defend a lot.
Prediction: Bournemouth 0-1 Aston Villa
Result: Bournemouth 2-0 Aston Villa