Aston Villa vs Leeds United
After the first five rounds of the new Premier League season, there’s only one team left standing with a perfect record: Aston Villa.
Thanks to some smart summer signings, an improved defence, and Jack Grealish’s fine play, the Villans have already produced some impressive Premier League 2020 results, most notably their 7-2 demolition of champions Liverpool.
Villa will now look to extend their perfect start to five matches as they take on Leeds United at Villa Park to begin Matchweek 6.
The Whites suffered a 0-1 defeat to Wolves last time out, which ended their three-match unbeaten run. But Marcelo Bielsa’s men have already shown this season just how dangerous they can be, and they will be a legitimate threat to stop Villa’s run of victories.
Villa’s perfect run continues
Aston Villa’s amazing start to the Premier League continues. After their unbelievable 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool, they once again defied the Premier League 2020 betting odds with another big win over a top-four contender, Leicester City.
Ross Barkley scored a dramatic long-range goal in stoppage time to preserve Villa’s perfect record of four wins out of four. Villa have now scored 12 goals this season while conceding just two.
Granted, Villa faced an injury-ravaged Leicester side which was missing many key players like star striker Jamie Vardy, defensive midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, and centre-back Caglar Soyuncu.
Nevertheless, Villa played quite well against the Foxes, particularly their defence, which kept its third clean sheet of the season. Young centre-back Ezri Konsa had a notably impressive performance. The 22-year-old completed a team-high 39 successful passes, won four aerial duels, and made three clearances and two interceptions.
And despite some potential defensive deficiencies on paper, the Villa midfield of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn, and Ross Barkley has held up through their first two games together.
Meanwhile, Jack Grealish continues to orchestrate the attack so well. The Villa skipper has taken his game to another level this season and already has three goals and three assists through four league games.
The addition of Barkley has immediately helped provide him with another attacking weapon to target with his impressive array of passing.
Leeds’ aggressive style will give Grealish ample space to play with, which should lead to the openings he needs to create more goalscoring chances.
Leeds suddenly struggling for goals
Leeds United’s three-match unbeaten run came to an end as they suffered a 0-1 defeat to Wolves at Elland Road.
The Whites were somewhat unlucky to concede Raul Jimenez’s winning goal, which was inadvertently directed away from goalkeeper Illan Meslier by Kalvin Phillips’ header.
And to make matters worse, Phillips suffered a shoulder injury against Wolves, which is expected to rule him out for up to six weeks.
Leeds dominated 68 per cent of possession and had the 13-7 edge in shots against Wolves. But only two of those 13 shots were on target as they struggled to break down Wolves’ well-organised defence.
This match was the first time Leeds have failed to score this season. They’ve now got just two goals in their last three games after finding the net seven times in their first two.
On the bright side, Leeds finally got veteran playmaker Pablo Hernandez back from injury. The 35-year-old hadn’t featured since their opening game loss to Liverpool after picking up a hamstring injury in pre-match warm-ups against Fulham.
Hernandez’s return will give Leeds another attacking option along with new signing Raphinha, who came on as a substitute to make his debut against Wolves.
Despite Aston Villa’s impressive defensive record, they are likely to play a more open style than Wolves, which should give Leeds’ attackers opportunities to create better chances.
Aston Villa and Leeds will face off for the first time in the Premier League since 2004. The two sides met six times in the Championship from 2016 to 2019. Villa won two of those six meetings, with three draws and one defeat.
The Villans also had the edge in their last few Premier League meetings. They won three of their last seven matchups, with three draws and just one loss.
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