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The Promoted: Chester leads Villa's set-piece threat

The Scout 31 May 2019
James Chester, Aston Villa

The Scout says attacking potential of Aston Villa centre-back can outweigh the team's struggles at the back

The Scout looks at the Fantasy Premier League prospects of the three promoted sides.

Aston Villa: Defence

James Chester’s (£4.5m) threat from set-pieces can make him the standout option in the Aston Villa defence.

The centre-back scored five Championship goals in 2018/19, more than any other promoted defender.

All five of Chester’s goals were from set-pieces, a total matched only by Shane Duffy (£5.0m) and Callum Wilson (£8.0m) in FPL.

This is despite him playing only 28 matches before his season was ended in January though injury.

But Chester is expected to be fit for the start of 2019/20 and could be a key influence in the heart of Villa's four-man defence.

Full-back options

Ahmed El Mohamady (£4.5m) was another star performer for the Championship playoff winners.

The right-back supplied eight assists, more than any other promoted defender, and also found the net on two occasions.

Left-back Neil Taylor (£4.5m) set up three goals.

Villa's most attacking defenders
2018/19 Goals Assists Shots in box Mins/ shot
Chester 5 0 17 146.1
El Mohamady 2 8 10 294.5
Taylor 0 3 4 346.8
Defensive downside 

However, the FPL appeal of Villa's defenders is dented by their unpredictability at the back.

Dean Smith’s men conceded 61 goals, 20 more than fellow promoted team, Sheffield United.

Their total of six clean sheets in 23 home matches was half the number of the Blades’ 12.

Furthermore, Villa had the second-worst home defensive record in the Championship, conceding 36 goals.

This suggests that managers looking for a rotation pairing may be less inclined to consider Smith’s defence.

Set-piece stars

Nevertheless, their huge threat at corners and free-kicks can still make Chester a success.

No side scored more goals in the Championship from set-pieces than Villa’s 25.

If Chester can remain injury-free, he could prove a handy source of cut-price goals in 2019/20, even if clean sheets are few and far between.

Also in this series

Part 1: Krul can match Etheridge returns
Part 2: Pukki can be next season's Jimenez
Part 3: Back Sheffield United at home
Part 4: Clinical Sharp to copy Murray
Part 6: Villa midfield can offer value

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