In form Aston Villa host a winless Bolton side at Villa Park on Saturday. Steve Bruce’s side are looking to make it their fourth league win in a row, but Bolton will be desperate to get their first three points of the season.
Aston Villa endured a poor season last year, but this season the Villans are looking to win promotion back to the top-flight. Steve Bruce signed seven players in the summer. The clubs most notable transfer this summer would’ve been the signing of former England captain John Terry. Villa were winless in their first three league games, but they have now got their act together. Since the Reading defeat mid-way through August, Villa have won four of their seven league games.
Bolton haven’t been able to adapt to Championship football since promotion from League One last season. Despite having a transfer embargo, Phil Parkinson was able to sign twelve players including West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen who came in on loan. However, Wanderers are winless in the league, and they currently occupy bottom spot in the Championship.
The home side come into this game high on confidence. Steve Bruce’s side dismantled Burton Albion 4-0 at the Pirelli Stadium. They haven’t tasted defeat in the league so far this month, and it looks unlikely that Bolton will be the team to end their unbeaten month. Villa have won their last three league games, and they currently sit in 8th spot.
While Bolton are currently, looking like a team who are playing with no confidence, which is understandable as they haven’t won in the league all season. They were pushed aside by Bristol City on Tuesday who beat them 2-0, and with pressure building on Phil Parkinson he and his team need a win very soon.
The last time these two faced each other was in April 2012 in the Premier League. Bolton ran out 2-1 winners at Villa Park thanks to goals from Martin Petrov and David N’Gog, but it wasn’t enough to keep Bolton up, and The Trotters finished 18th in the top-flight.
Head to Head
The two have faced off against each other on 161 occasions. Villa have been the superior side winning 63 times while Bolton have won 59 times against the Villans. The two have drawn on 39 occasions against each other.
Albert Adomah- The winger has been on fire recently, and he’s scored four goals in his last three games. Bolton’s defence has been shaky at best, and they’ll find it difficult to contain the former Middlesbrough winger.
Gary Madine- He has only netted on two occasions this season, but if Bolton want to get anything out of the game they’re going to have to utilise Madine. On his day the 27-year-old’s unstoppable, but he needs the service.
Aston Villa- Johnstone, Elmohamody, Chester, Terry, Taylor, Snodgrass, Whelan, Hourihane, Adomah, Davis, Kodjia
Bolton Wanderers- Howard, Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Little, Le Fondre, King, Henry, Pratley, Noone, Madine
Here’s AVFC Chat’s opinion on their start to the season, and his prediction for the game:
Villa’s start has been a rollercoaster ride so far. We started calling for Bruce to be sacked after shocking, boring performances vs Cardiff and Reading. Then we thought we got our season back on track after brilliant wins vs Norwich and Wigan and a decent draw vs Bristol City. Bruce had found the way to win in the championship, by playing attacking football. We went in and out of the international break with high hopes again and again like the start of the season we were disappointed.
Back to back 0-0 draws vs Brentford and Middlesbrough and the infamous Hogan blocking our own shot off the line late on vs Boro and the Bruce Out Brigade were back out in full force. It was a terrible time. We had found the formula for a decent championship side and ignored it and went back to a boring mess. Things didn’t get much better after as we found out one of our only good performers so far, Andre Green, had been injured for 3 months and then Bruce admitting it was his fault. But then the change. Bruce finally came to his senses; changed to 4-4-2 and started Adomah. 3 brilliant wins in the last week or so vs Barnsley, Forest and Burton and we are on fire. The return of Kodjia has inspired us plus Snodgrass has started to show his class. Terry has been stunning recently and has made quite the partnership with Chester as well.
We go into the weekends game vs Bolton in great form. At home no matter what we barely ever lose plus Bolton have had a poor start to the season. Unless Bruce makes some poor team changes I think we shall be comfortable. I’m predicting a 3-1 win.
Here’s Bolton fan Alan Hindley’s view on their start to the season, and his prediction for the game:
Pre season was full of semi optimism. We ended the season going up but the reality set in as now we was under a strict embargo due to the 2 owners having a very public cat fight. This season has started worse than I expected (I predicted us to finish just above the relegation zone.)
Fast forward to Saturday, Villa away, we have not scored in the past 6 games or won in fact which is now unfortunately is a club history record. I don’t expect much other than a home win unfortunately. I don’t see how we will get out of this mess, and I see our poor form carrying on into the Villa game.
It’s going to be very hard for the away side to get anything out of the game. They haven’t won all season, and Aston Villa are starting to gain some momentum. I can only see this going one way, and that’s a Villa win. Aston Villa 4-0 Bolton Wanderers.