Fantasy Premier League

Clubs to target in FPL: Aston Villa

By The Scout 4 Jul 2024

The Scout selects three of Unai Emery’s players and says why they can have a successful start to 2024/25 Fantasy

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The Scout is using the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR) to determine the sides with the most favourable opening schedules in 2024/25 Fantasy Premier League.

Aston Villa

Unai Emery’s side have one of the kindest runs of opponents of any side in the opening six Gameweeks.

According to the FDR, five of Aston Villa’s matches in that spell – including visits to promoted pair Leicester City and Ipswich Town - score just two. 

Villa also travel to West Ham United and have back-to-back home encounters with Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in Gameweeks 4-5. 

Aston Villa's first six matches
1 WHU (A) 2
2 ARS (H) 5
3 LEI (A) 2
4 EVE (H) 2
5 WOL (H) 2
6 IPS (A) 2

*1 = easiest possible fixture, 5 = hardest possible fixture

Here are three Villa players backed to make a flying start thanks to their fixtures.

Ollie Watkins (£9.0m)

Nineteen goals and 13 assists helped Watkins to a career-high 228 points last season, also placing him top of the forward standings in Fantasy.

His 96 shots in the box and 47 shots on target were both more than twice the total of any team-mate, while his 33 big chances were more than treble any other Villa player.

He also created 11 big chances – only two off Moussa Diaby at the top of the rankings for Emery’s side – which helped him play a part in 51 per cent of their goals when selected.

His major all-round potential marks Watkins out as a major source of attacking returns in the opening stages of the new season.

Leon Bailey (£6.5m)

The winger was Villa’s joint-top scoring midfielder in 2023/24, combining 10 goals with nine assists to equal the 148 points of Douglas Luiz.

However it’s worth noting that Bailey only started two of his side’s first 13 matches last season before establishing himself as a regular.

Indeed, from Gameweek 14, the Jamaican’s 42 key passes and nine big chances created both placed him top among team-mates, while he ranked second only to Watkins for shots, shots in the box and shots on target.

Remaining in the mid-price bracket in 2024/25, Bailey can emerge as a value pick in midfield for opening squads.

Pau Torres

The Spanish defender suffered a somewhat injury-hit debut campaign after joining from Valencia last summer. Torres made 27 starts and produced 85 points, scoring twice and collecting six clean sheets.

The centre-back is, nonetheless, the most secure pick in defence under Emery, with uncertainty surrounding both full-back positions at present.

Ultimately, Villa’s total of eight clean sheets last season suggests their defenders should continue in the sub-£5.0m bracket this time around.

If they can improve their resilience, Torres could prove a very handy asset at the back in the early stages of the new campaign.

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