Premier League Fantasy Football Tips 2021/22 for Aston Villa by @CoysFPL.

In this team preview series, Dan previews all 20 Premier League teams ahead of the 2021/22 season. This includes season expectations, expected lineups, best player picks, under the radar gems, and players to avoid.

Find all our other Premier League 2021/22 Team Previews here which will be continually updated as the season draws closer!


Aston Villa 2020/21 Season Summary

Aston Villa got off to a flying start last season, winning their first four matches including a 7-2 thrashing over Liverpool.

They went on to lose four of the following five games as topsy-turvy form continued to define their season.

Despite that, they still sat in eighth before Jack Grealish’s long injury lay off. They were six points behind the top four with two games in hand.

Without Grealish in the starting line-up, they went on to win only three of the 14 games without him. The Villains only managed 15 goals in that time, recording 1.07 goals per game compared to 1.67 with Grealish.

As well as that, for the 14 games that Grealish didn’t start through injury, Villa would’ve finished 17th despite playing one or two games more than everyone else.

It’s fair to say that both patchy form and Grealish’s injury were the cause of Villa’s downfall yet they finished 11th (a position they would’ve taken at the start of the season).

Villa managed 15 clean sheets which was only bettered by Manchester City and Chelsea. However, they only kept one in their last twelve games.

It could be slightly excused given that Tyrone Mings and Matty Cash missed a combined six games during that period. I wouldn’t see that spell as anything more than a slight blip.


The Best Aston Villa FPL Players 2021/22

Aston Villa 2021/22 Season Expectations

With the arrival of Emiliano Buendía, Villa will be hoping to take another step forward to secure European football.

He will certainly decrease Villa’s reliability on Grealish, and will create even more big chances for Ollie Watkins.

I still think Villa are a signing or two away from reaching the next level, but I don’t think they’re far off. Finishing between 7th and 10th seems realistic.


Aston Villa Expected Lineup


Emiliano Martínez was one of the main reasons behind Villa’s transformation last season, and will undoubtedly start in goal.

The back four will likely remain unchanged, although returnee Ashley Young might offer some threat towards the spot of Matt Targett.

Douglas Luiz and John McGinn will start in the midfield together when possible. Luiz is in the Brazilian Olympics squad though, so he may miss the first couple of games. Marvelous Nakamba should therefore come in.

Grealish seems most likely to play on the left side, leaving the number ten spot open for Buendía. Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore will share minutes on the right flank, although the latter should get the majority.

Watkins will spearhead the attack.

Aston Villa Best Players

Ollie Watkins 

Had a fine first season in the Premier League, ending with 14 goals and nine assists. That was a goal involvement tally that only three forwards could better, despite his main creator missing twelve games.

Across the twelve games, Watkins only scored three, almost half the record than with Grealish on the pitch. This was further highlighted by his underlying numbers.

With Grealish, he averaged 0.91 big chances, 2.68 shots in the box, 0.55 xG and 0.45 goals per 90 minutes.

On the other hand, without Grealish, Watkins averaged only 0.31 big chances, 1.62 shots in the box, 0.29 xG and 0.23 goals per 90. It is a huge bonus for Watkins that Grealish is now fully fit.

In the first 24 gameweeks (when Grealish was available), Watkins ranked sixth of all players for xG and big chances per 90, and fourth for shots in the box per 90.

The addition of Buendía will undoubtedly help Watkins raise his attacking threat. He made the second most key passes per 90 minutes in his last Premier League spell, despite playing in a poor Norwich side.

Buendía also created 0.08 more big chances and 0.07 more assists per 90 than Grealish that season, so Watkins is guaranteed service this time round.

Watkins is also the most likely penalty taker when El Ghazi is not on the pitch.

Jack Grealish 

The England international was once again Villa’s talisman last season. Over the first 24 gameweeks (until his injury), he notched the most assists in the league (12) as well as the most key passes.

It is also worth mentioning that during that period, Villa had played two games less than the majority of other sides due to some early season postponements.

Grealish not only showed his creativity in that time, as he had the fifth most shots in the box out of all midfielders.

Surprisingly, he only scored once in his final 17 appearances of the season, but I don’t think that’s something we should look into too much.


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Aston Villa Under the Radar Players:

Matty Cash 

The Englishman is the best option of the back four over the whole season in my opinion.

Matt Targett was slightly more creative, with 0.03 extra assists and 0.02 xA per 90. However, Matty Cash had three times as many shots in the box and over twice as many shots per 90.

Targett’s creativity should slightly decrease though, as the arrival of Buendía means Targett will lose some of his set-piece duties.

Cash also had a better cross accuracy, with 27% compared to Targett’s 18%.

Targett still ranked only 25th of defenders for big chances created per game, so the full-back’s attacking threat is still relatively low.

Ezri Konsa

Meanwhile, I think Ezri Konsa is the best short-term defensive answer.

Among a short period, the chances of one of the defenders getting a goal involvement is relatively low. Therefore, you may as well pick the defender with the highest goal threat when attacking metrics are so tight (as they are in Villa’s case).

That way, your point ceiling is higher, with the risk being much lower over a short period. Konsa had the most shots in the box of the Villa defenders, with 0.58 per game.

He also topped the charts from the Villains’ back four for xGI (0.07), big chances (0.19), and shots (0.61) per game.

When you compare his goal threat to the full-back’s assist threat, the difference is pretty minimal.

I think Cash will slightly outscore the other three defenders come the end of the season. However, due to the fine margins you’re better off with Konsa over a short run of fixtures due to his higher ceiling.

Emiliano Buendía

The Argentine playmaker comes in as one of the most exciting signings in the league from a Fantasy perspective.

He also should slot perfectly into the Villa team, and I have no doubt he will excel this season.

As I mentioned before, in his previous Premier League spell, he made the second most key passes per 90, and beat Grealish in nearly all creative metrics.

Buendía continued that into the Championship last season, smashing every Championship player in the key passes tally. He made 3.1 key passes per game compared to 1.9 for the second ranked player.

Only four players had more shots per game, and none took more shots outside the 18 yard box. It comes as no surprise that he notched up 15 goals and 17 assists in 39 appearances.

He will also get the majority of Villa’s set-pieces and has an outside chance of taking penalties.

The only issue with him is that he is prone to a red card as he has been sent off four times in the last three seasons.

Emiliano Martínez

The Copa América winner was the stand-out goalkeeper last season, picking up the third most clean sheets and the most saves out of all goalkeepers. For those reasons alone, Martínez is one of the best goalkeepers in the game.


The Complete Guide to Fantasy Premier League | 2021/22 Edition


Aston Villa Players to Avoid:

Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traore will share minutes with each other so it is very unlikely that they will play a full game. With Buendía being priced similarly, it doesn’t make sense to go for either of them.


Find all our other Premier League 2021/22 Team Previews here which will be continually updated as the season draws closer!

Do you play or want to learn how to play Fantasy Premier League?

Our How to Play FPL Guide is a great place to get started whilst our Ultimate FPL 2021/22 Guide has everything you could ever need be a successful FPL manager.

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