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Aston Villa predicted XI vs. Watford: Summer signing makes debut, Smith sticks to his guns

Aston Villa will kick off the 2021/22 Premier League season away to Watford as the fixtures list was released this week.

Optimism is high amongst Villa supporters heading into the new campaign. And how can blame them? The Midlands side have pulled off one of the most exciting signings of the summer in Emi Buendia.

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Whilst the likes of Ashley Young and James Ward-Prowse could also be heading to Dean Smith’s side according to reports.

Aston Villa fixtures give club perfect start

Indeed, the return of a fully fit Jack Grealish also adds to the excitement surrounding Villa. And with the transfer window shutting in two months time, who knows what could happen between now and the opening game of the campaign.

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But with that in mind, what could Villa’s XI look like when they travel to Vicarage Road for their Premier League opener?

Dean Smith sticks to his gun

With everyone likely to be fit for the new season, it will be a familiar-looking defence for Villa fans. Emi Martinez was one of the goalkeepers of the season last term, so of course, the Argentine star retains his place in the XI.

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Ahead of him, the reliable back four of Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Matt Targett retain their places. Villa are close to signing Young as reported by Sky Sports News. However, the former Manchester United captain will likely make the bench if Targett is fit for the opening game.

In midfield, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn should retain their usual positions in the middle of the park.

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Whilst a new midfielder could come in this summer, the likes of Ward-Prowse and Ruben Loftus-Cheek look unlikely to join Villa at this stage of the window. However, it will be interesting to see if Smith makes a move in this role in the coming weeks.

Buendia the magic man starts

All eyes will be on one man for Villa, and that will be Buendia as he makes his competitive debut.

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The club-record signing is an exciting addition to the Villains, and with Jack Grealish retaining his no. 10 spot, Bertrand Traore starting on the right and Ollie Watkins leading the line, the Midlands club have an outstanding front-four that could give any defence in the Premier League a difficult time.

Aston Villa predicted XI. vs Watford: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Traore, Grealish, Buendia; Watkins

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