Premier League action returns to the Molineux Stadium as Unai Emery’s Aston Villa travels to Wolverhampton to face Gary O’Neil’s Wolves on matchday 8.The hosts are overjoyed after their impressive 2-1 victory against the powerful Manchester City, the reigning champions. The Wolves managed to end their four-game winless streak while also putting an end to Sky Blues’ winning run at Molineux, making them the only club to do so this season..
Meanwhile, the Lions also pulled off some fancy results against Roberto De Zerbi’s seagulls beating them 6-1 at Villa Park thanks to Olle Watkins’s hattrick. Unai and the boys are heading into the fixture following a midweek added-time win at the UEFA Conference League 2023/24.
Wolves have only managed 7 points in 7 games with 2 wins and a draw respectively, holding the 15th spot in the league table. Meanwhile, the guests have an excellent 15 points, placing them 5th just behind the top 4 teams in the league.
Both sides are seemingly quite confident and optimistic, courtesy of their recent wins against the two strongest oppositions in the league. Wolves defeated Man City, while Lions triumphed over Brighton & Hove, respectively.
When and Where?
Where: Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton.
When: Sunday, 8 October 2023
Time: 2 PM BST
Referee: Rob Jones.
Assistants: Ian Hussin & Wade Smith
Fourth official: Paul Tierney
VAR: David Coote
Assistant VAR: Tim Wood
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For Wolves, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde will serve the final game of his suspension following his sending-off at Luton Town. Santiago Bueno and Hugo Bueno could miss due to hamstring and knee injury concerns respectively.
For Villians, Jacob Ramsey and Alex Moreno are out from the selection due to injury woes in addition to the trio of Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Buendia, and Timothy Iroegbunam as definite absentees.
The Wolves will be hosting a second consecutive Premier League game this Sunday, as of no European commitments the hosts will have ample rest and be fresh for this fixture. After upsetting the league leaders, Gary O’Neil will line up similar faces against Aston Villa, as there’s no point in any change, and would stick to the 3-4-3 tactical setup.
The familiar offensive trio of Pedro Neto, Matheus Cunha, and Hwang Hee-chan caused trouble for Man City’s defense line. In defense, the center-half trio consists of Kilman, Toti, and Dawson, and in the middle, there is a 4-man midfield with Ait-Nouri and Nelson Semedo as wide midfielders and the Gomes-Lemina duo in the middle.
In contrast, Unai Emery’s squad is busy managing the league, and European football at once, in their last home game following the absence of the French duo of Diaby-Kamara and resting some starters played a 4-4-2 formation against Zrinjski Mostar in the Conference League. However, it is likely the Spaniard boss went back usual 4-2-3-1 setup. Retaining the same lineup from Brigton’s fixture.
Watkins as the sole striker up front, with a three-man midfield comprising Zaniolo, Diaby, and McGinn. Kamara and Luiz form the double pivot, and the backline remains the same, including Matty Cash and Digne as fullbacks, with Torres and Konsa as the center-back pair.
The 23-year-old Portuguese winger is undoubtedly one the most productive forwards, Neto started all 7 league games under Gary O’Neil and has been involved in 5 goals playing the role of provider with 4 assists and a goal this season.
Neto’s excellence on the wings through a successful dribbling rate of 24.38% per 90 minutes, he has been a significant threat to the rival defense, complementing the Cunha and Hwang Hee-chan at attack.
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Watkins is the best player for Aston Villa this season starting all league games and having 10 goal contributions in 12 games in all competitions in this season of 2023/24. The 27-year-old has been called up to the England squad for October’s fixtures by Gareth Southgate.
Watkins recently signed a 5-year-long extension to keep him at Villa Park until 2028, after his thumping hattrick against Seagulls with the given form the English striker will be an absolute threat for the hosts on Sunday.
Wolves predicted lineup vs Aston Villa: Sa; Kilman, Toti, Dawson; Semedo, Gomes, Lemina, Ait-Nouri; Neto, Cunha, Hwang.
Aston Villa predicted lineup vs Wolves: Martinez; Matty Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Luiz; McGinn, Diaby, Zaniolo; Watkins.