28 September 2020 18:46
Sign up NOW for our daily Villa newsletter direct to your inbox Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email Throughout last season Aston Villa were accused of 'doing a Fulham' until it transpired they were actually doing an Aston Villa and staying in the Premier League. Tonight, however, Villa would like to do Fulham, by which we mean exact some revenge for their past two meetings with the Cottagers. The most memorable - and forgettable - one of course was that painful play-off defeat at Wembley in May 2018, while there was more misery when Scott Parker's men knocked Villa out of the FA Cup back in January. Since then Fulham have re-established themselves in the top flight thanks to another play-off final triumph over Brentford, but they've got off to a stuttertying start, losing to Arsenal and Leeds United. Villa, meanwhile, head to the capital in encouraging form, winning their first Premier League match 1-0 against Sheffield United and sweeping past Burton and Bristol City in the Carabao Cup. Here's what our writers make of Villa's prospects ahead of this evening's match.
Fulham 0 Villa 1 - Mat Kendrick While Fulham have been leaking goals for fun, conceding three against Arsenal and four against Leeds, there are heartening signs that Villa's defence have carried on their mean machine ways where they left off at the back end of last season. Other than that early aberration against Burton, the claret and blue backline has not been breached yet. In Emiliano Martinez they seem to have got themselves a goalkeeper who inspires confidence, while at the other end of the pitch Ollie Watkins has wasted no time finding the net. Watkins performed his initiation song in the team's hotel last night and although his burst of Never Too Much by Luther Vandross entertained his team-mates, I reckon the former Brentford striker will be too much for the opposition as he seeks to exorcise his own Fulham play-off ghosts. Star man: Ollie Watkins Fulham 1-1 Villa - Steve Wollaston Villa fans will be expecting them to make the most of a game that is largely going to be seen as one of their 'winnable' fixtures.
I don't think it will be that straightforward, despite Fulham's horrible start. Fulham will be pumped up for a change of fortune and I think they will nullify Aston Villa's creativity with an industrious and determined display. We could be looking at set-pieces being a key in this game with very few clear cut chances. Scott Parker has publicly slated his side's poor defending, Villa will be hoping they can make the most of it. Key man: Ollie Watkins - I expect his pace and persistence to reward him with a goal tonight and to cause the Fulham defenders a few problems Free £5 Bet for all new customers The pools.com is the country's oldest and longest established betting outlet. But if you haven't got an account yet, thepools.com is offering new customers a Free £5 bet! You can bet on any match, any market. Simply log on to thepools.com and register for a new account - you don't need to deposit a penny. New customers only. Visit thepools.com for info. Fulham 1-2 Villa - Alex Dicken Villa have started the season well and I fancy them to just edge Fulham. Scott Parker's side are still transitioning to the Premier League and looked shaky on their last outing against Leeds United. In contrast, Villa have looked very solid since the tail end of last season and have added firepower in the form of Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore. Key man: Ezri Konsa - I'm a big fan of Konsa and he's been outstanding for Villa in the last few months. I reckon he's got the potential to become one of the best defenders outside the top six. If he keeps Mitrovic quiet, Villa should be able to get the result. Aston Villa 2 Fulham 1 - James Rushton It's a rare one for Villa - an away game that they should be winning. Fulham have looked confident so far this season, but Villa should have more overall quality and have their sea legs under them in terms of Premier League pace. The Villans have looked solid at the back, but will that restrict them from attacking intent? We'll see - but a match against the Cottagers should see a balanced Villa start off as they mean to go on after a testing match against Sheffield United in the opener. Key man: Ollie Watkins Fulham 0 Villa 2 - Dan Rolinson I fully expect Aston Villa to travel down to Craven Cottage this evening and come back to B6 with 3 points in the bag. Before Sheffield United I'd have been happy with 4 points from Villa's opening two fixtures, but after beating them 1-0 last week, I'm going to be greedy and demand Villa continue their 100% record. If you include Villa's final 4 games of 2019/20 and the friendlies over pre season, Aston Villa are currently 10 unbeaten. I expect Fulham will be right down there in the relegation zone all season so this is one of the games Villa have to go out and get the three points. Key man: Ollie Watkins to be the star man tonight and continue his goalscoring run, I fancy him to bag a brace and increase his confidence in a claret & blue shirt. Description: FUL Vs AVL Fantasy Team Probable Playing 11 And Match Report: Crucial encounter for two sies who could potentially find themselves meddling their skill set in the relegation squabble. Without a win in their opening couple of encounters in the league, Fulham have emerged as one of the early contenders for the drop this season. While its unfair to judge them solely on the basis of two fixtures, their defensive aberrations have seen the club take on this identity. Akin to their previous sortie in the Premier League, Fulham have once again failed to stem the flow of goals. It saw them being dismissed 4-3 by Leeds United in their bygone affair, a seven goal thriller where Fulham's defence once again cost them a result on the day. However, despite the defeat, Fulham will take heart from that result. The side were 4-1 down at one stage, completely out of the showdown before eventually pulling their socks up to score twice, fight and character which will serve them well come the culminating stages of Premier League 2020-21. FUL Vs AVL Fantasy Probable Winner Elsewhere, Aston Villa ended up opening their season with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United. Far from an efficient performance, what matters is that they managed to get the job done and accrue three crucial points. With this being a must win affair for either side, either side will come out hammer and tongs today. Its Fulham's relentless attack which will see the wind sway in their favour and see them pull off their first win of the season. Probable Playing 11 Areola, Tete, Hector, Ream, Bryan, Reed, Zambo Anguissa, Kamara, Cordova-Reid, Cavaleiro, Mitrovic Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Luiz, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Watkins, Grealish Match Details Premier League 2019-20 Match: Fulham Vs Aston Villa Top Goal Scorer Fulham Mitrovic: 2 Goals Aston Villa Konsa: 1 Goal Bygone Encounter Leeds United Vs Fulham: 4-3 Aston Villa Vs Sheffield United: 1-0 Goal-Keeper Playing his first encounter for Aston Villa, Emiliano Martinez sowed why the club ventured for his services. He pulled off a penalty save, one which ended up being a defining moment in a fixture which his side won by the solitary goal. Defenders He wasn't the only defensive name to earn his living in that encounter for the club today. Defender Ezri Konsa scored the only goal of the fixture, one which saw the CB emerge as the match winner for his side. Elsewhere, we are going to be reposing faith in a duo from Fulham for this one. Although the club has shipped goals in its last couple of outings, this can easily end up as the scrimmage where they end up with a much yearned for cleansheet. Both Joe Bryan and Kenny Tete have assisted the one goal apiece for the side to see them become instant picks for us today. In a team where the defensive docket has hardly provided anything, Harrison Reed has ticked off all the boxes. The CDM's recoveries, aerial dues and blocks have seen him emerge as a rock for the club, a player bridging the gap between his side's defence and attack. He's found more than ample assistance in Andre Zambo Anguissa who assisted the one goal for his side as well the last time around. Ivan Cavaleiro will link up with the two, someone who will be looking to utilise this encounter as a means to scour his first goal or assist this term. The opposition on the other hand see us opt for the lone pick of Jack Grealish. The side's top scorer last season, he can easily open his account today when he squares off against the worst defensive setup in the league. We begin with new signing Ollie Watkins, a player who has already scored for the club in the Carabao Cup to show why he became the side's record buy. Fulham will on the other hand see top scorer with two goals, striker Aleksandar Mitrovic bring down the curtains on our set of picks for the upcoming matchup. With two goals against Leeds United, Mitrovic is our side's captain while Grealish is the vice-captain. Fantasy Team Martinez, Ezri, Bryan, Tete, Andre, Reed, Ivan, Jack, Mitrovic, Trezeguet, Watkins Note: For Updated teams after the lineup announcement, join The SportsRush Premium on our mobile app. Fantasy Team Disclaimer All our selections are based on in-depth and astute analysis of the players partaking in the match and a perusal of other reasoning. Please incorporate a slew of factors while crafting your own side with this article serving as a guide to the match and players.