The Lions need time to gel, we can’t suddenly expect them to be winning every week because they spent 142 million pounds over the summer. The good thing for supporters is that there are positive signs coming from the team. It will all click soon.
Aston Villa will be hoping that this week, they can pick up their first points of the season. We take a look at a few things Aston Villa need to do to muster the desired result against Everton, who themselves spent big money in the summer.
Keep a clean sheet in the first half
They achieved this feat against Tottenham. However, two goals down within 12 minutes against the Cherries was not the start the manager would have wanted. It demonstrated that in the Premier League if you make mistakes, you will be punished. Villa can’t make game-altering mistakes as they did against Everton.
Communication from Tom Heaton to his backline is critical. Being a goalkeeper in a new team can be tricky when giving orders to new teammates. But, he must back his judgement and his experience when making the calls.
Tyrone Mings has developed a good chemistry with Heaton and fellow centre-back Bjorn Engels. Personally, I would like to see new French full-back, Frederic Guilbert replace the adventurous Elmohamady, and see Neil Taylor keep his left-back spot.
Stay tight, communicate and for goodness sake, and do not play risky passes while playing out of the box under pressure. Taking that risk will inevitably invite the other teams to press, which will only increase the chance of something going wrong.
Moise Kean, Bernard and Richarlison will have pace, so Villa’s defence will have their work cut out.
You could look at this argument from two sides. One perspective is that Aston Villa have scored in both games so they haven’t been goalless yet. The other side of the discussion is that both goals have come from central midfielders, and the club’s dynamic trio upfront haven’t tested the opposition’s goalkeeper enough.
Wesley has had a tough start from what we’ve seen from the opening two games. He looked slightly better against Bournemouth, but still struggled with the close marking from Steve Cook.
Anwer El Ghazi and Trezeguet didn’t penetrate the defence well enough. Having worked with El Ghazi last year, Smith will be expecting more from him. But, with Jonathan Kodjia still injured for the Everton game, expect Wesley to keep his starting spot up top.
Aston Villa had 22 shots (12 on target) against the Cherries. They should have scored more than once.
When you look back at their last game, Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth’s ‘keeper) should have been tested more thoroughly. With no disrespect to Ramsdale, Jordan Pickford is a much better goalkeeper who Villa will face this weekend.
Wesley and co. will need to have their ‘shooting boots’ on if they want to beat England’s number one. Pickford kept a clean sheet in the Toffees’ last game. The defence is the area of weakness for Everton, especially since Lucas Digne looks likely to miss this weekend with a tweaked hamstring.
Mina and Keane in the centre are shaky, so this weekend could prove to be a good opportunity for the Lions to finally get a point or even three on board.