100% Villa take on newly promoted Leeds in an entertaining fixture
Aston Villa to win 2-1
Villa fans surely could not be happier with how their season has started, particularly after how the previous one ended.
After surviving relegation by a mere point on the final day, not many would have predicted that Villa would be the only team remaining to have a 100% winning record after four matches to start the season.
They’ve done so in style as well, beating Liverpool 7-2 the other weekend to produce one of the most memorable scorelines in league history.
Leeds sit in 10th place, something which they’ll be relatively happy with, though come into this game on the back of a defeat to Wolves last weekend.
They’ve impressed with their attractive, attacking style of football which has seen them score plenty of goals so far, but have also been leaky in defence.
Plenty to look forward to here.
Form Guide (all comps): WWLWW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Start to season has shown a completely different Villa from last year
New signings have made the difference for them
Reasons to be fearful:
Will have to lose eventually, and Leeds’ lightning attack could cause problems
Will be wary of complacency after wins over big sides
Aston Villa will go to the top of the table for the first time since 2011 on Friday evening with just a point from their game against Leeds.
With current table-toppers Everton not playing until Sunday, Villa can claim top spot by winning their first five matches of a new season for the first time since 2001. These stats are mighty impressive for a Villa side who must have wondered how this season would go.
They’ll drop points eventually, of course, but all talk about a relegation battle is out of the window for now.
Alongside local star Grealish, new signings Watkins and more recently Ross Barkley have hugely impressed and have scored important goals for the Midlands side.
Maybe more impressively is their defensive record, only conceding two goals in the league so far – by far the best record in the league, Arsenal are next on six.
They’ll have their sights set on Leeds next.
Star Man – Ross Barkley
Has added real quality since his loan move from Chelsea. His goal to beat Leicester was terrific.
Form Guide (all comps): LWWDL
Reasons to be cheerful
Will fancy their chances against a smaller team
Ran Man City and Wolves close
Reasons to be fearful
Goal threat has been reduced of late
Kalvin Phillips will miss six weeks through injury
After a promising start to the season for Leeds, where they ran champions Liverpool close before winning their next two matches, they’ve gone off the boil slightly of late.
They can be forgiven – firstly, they’re a newly promoted side who are bound to have ups and downs throughout the season, and secondly their last two matches have been against Manchester City and Wolves.
A point at home to City is a fantastic result and they came close to doing the same against Wolves last weekend.
They are missing influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips through a shoulder injury, which will hamper their chances here.
They’ll also need to tighten up their defence as the season progresses, currently conceding as many goals as they have scored (9).
It’ll be a good game against Villa, and it could realistically go either way.
Star Man – Patrick Bamford
Has led the line well so far for Leeds and netted some crucial goals
Both Villa and Leeds will fancy their chances here
Villa are in better form and will be full of confidence
Likely that both teams score
Villa will go into this match as slight favourites, being the home side and holding a 100% winning record so far this season.
They are still riding high on the back of the 7-2 victory over Liverpool, and beating Leicester the week after won’t have hurt either.
Leeds will have taken a lot of heart from their matches against City and Wolves, though failure to win this will mean no win in three matches.
Manager Marcelo Bielsa will not be pleased with that, though may have to accept this as a newly promoted side.
Aston Villa to win 2-1