Aston Villa FPL prospects update

So, seeing as I was the first to write an article (about a month ago) about team prospects I thought I’d better update readers on the current situation at Villa.

I’m pretty happy with the predicted team/one I’d like to see in my previous article, but we now have a slightly clearer situation than a month ago.

The only thing we know for certain is that we will play four at the back: Lowton’s ‘slight ankle injury’ as described by Mat Kendrick from the Birmingham Mail should not rule him out for the opener at West Ham; and this therefore gives a high chance of the back four from the image below being played. Warnock and Hutton are sure to leave, and as we know, Cuellar is at Sunderland and Collins has gone to Upton Park.

There is still lots of debate about how we will play further up the pitch. In pre-season, we have played two up front, with a narrow diamond in midfield. Defenders have come short to gain possession from the keeper, and two midfielders have come deep to receive the ball (El Ahmadi + one of Bannan/Delph). This gives a dilemma, then, about who will partner Bent up front.


With this formation likely, the full-backs will add the width – this is where Lowton should score well FPL-wise. He scored six goals last season for Sheffield Utd and looks nailed on at 4.5. Alternatively, Clark at LCB has scored two goals in pre-season, and again is nailed on until Richard Dunne returns from injury (4-6 weeks is most likely here).

Alternatively, Delfouneso or Weimann could act as a second striker, with Bannan dropping out. This seems less likely, though, as El Ahmadi has looked comfortable alongside a solid central midfielder (Ireland would not fit into this category).

A second, and more likely possibility is that we play 4-4-1-1. This hasn’t really been tested in pre-season all too much, but does allow more midfield width (with Holman on the left and N’Zogbia on the right) with Stephen Ireland in the hole behind Bent.

If Lowton does not make the first game, we could well see Lichaj at RB and Stevens at LB. This gives Stevens (at 4.0) the possibility of game time throughout the season, then, as any injury to Lichaj or Lowton will promote Stevens to left-back, with the other non-injured player at right-back.

In conclusion, either a narrow 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 will be played, with nine or ten players nailed on. N’Zogbia at 6.5 is the best bet in my opinion. If you have even more faith in Lambert’s attacking style, then Bent will not go far wrong for you – Villa’s style will be to play to his strengths by creating chances for him. He is of course on penalties and although Villa only ‘won’ three penalties last season, an attacking game with emphasis on N’Zogbia, Holman and Ireland will surely result in more chances created this way.

With Villa’s enticing fixtures, Clark or Lowton could score well as they both offer potential attacking returns and come in at 4.5.


8 thoughts on “Aston Villa FPL prospects update

  1. thanks mate,
    i have El Ahmadi,
    but considering Barry Bannan for the little bit extra?
    what do recommend?

    • Delph could replace Bannan and won’t offer much more. I’d consider Ireland at 5.5 if you don’t want to get N’Zogbia.

      • Thanks for the reply!
        My problem would be i need 2M in the bank for the roonpig in GW2……
        i currently have 2.5mil in bank.
        so i can only afford 5 or below 😦
        thanks heaps for input,
        do you recommend El Ahmadi over other 4.5s and 5s? (i have noble)
        Thanks again mate! Top Bloke!

        • I don’t rate Noble FPL-wise, I have Maloney at 5. El Ahmadi is great as a nailed-on 4.5er though, but looking at all of Villa’s FPL players, they’re all differentials.

          • Hmm,
            i had Maloney but Ryo’s entrance scared me away 🙂
            thanks again,
            i’ll have El Ahmadi and watchlist Ireland and N’Zog 🙂 (as well as Lowton/Clark)

  2. cheers for the article, i currently have bent in my squad but that potential formation you have diagrammed has me thinking to rearrange things and go n’zogbia. what are the odds you think of that formation becoming reality?

    • Either 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2. If it’s 4-4-2, which is very likely, he will either support Bent or play on the right. Depends if Lambert has faith in Weimann or Delfouneso (only the former is worth a shot imo). N’Zogbia is our main goal threat from midfield, so he’s great value for money imo.

    There is a certain feeling of Deja vu surrounding St James’ Park today. Mike Ashley has shocked the football world once again, by repeating his trick of the 2010/11 season and getting rid of a promising young manager, who had performed miracles in getting the toon to the verge of champions league qualification, to be replaced by another promising young manager, with ambitions to get the toon to the verge of champions league qualification (and beyond).

    Rumours are abound as to why Pardiola has been replaced. Has his performance bonus for last season meant that he has already repaid the gambling debt to lambiarse that “allegedly” was the reason he got the job in the first place? Was there a repeat of the wandering hands that got him the sack from Charlton and Southampton? Rumours that he tried to get off with collochini in a dark nightclub are thought to be unfounded. The clever money is on the fact that Ashley simply thought that Pardiola had taken the club as far as he could, and as soon as it became clear that China Mag was free from his contractual duties with the dutch national team, he wasted no time in bringing him to the club and handing him an unprecedented 20 year contract. He will be bringing with him his back room staff, including his maverick (and beautiful) assistant, Mrs China Mag (who incidentally beat China Mag in the league last season).

    While it had long been assumed that veteran Atilla the Bum was being groomed to take over the toon hotseat, ATB’s mysterious disappearance has corresponded with China Mag’s meteoric rise to ffs fame. China Mag has made a name for himself in the deadzone over the past season and a half. He was a relative unknown before that, but a closer look at his record shows that he is one of the most experienced managers in the entire fantasy football world, having started his career with Tamechester Rovers in the inaugural fantasy football game in 90 minutes magazine way back in 1992. He is well known in the community for only commenting on toon related posts. The shout of “why don’t you just f%ck off to a toon message board” has been all too familiar over the past few months. But China Mag takes it in his elegant stride, and is determined to spread as much toon related knowledge as he can, to anyone who is interested.

    Many lesser managers might baulk at the prospect of being drawn in the “league of death”, where the list of managers of reads like a who’s who of fantasy football royalty. But China has no qualms about coming up against such heavyweights as (edit….too many to mention and don’t want to offend anyone I don’t!). In fact he is looking forward to embracing the challenge, and hoping that the intense competition will propel him into the top 1,000 of the overall league.

    During the press conference, China Mag was happy to answer any questions put to him. He explained that he plans to go balls out from the start and go with three big hitters up front, “sod convention” were his exact words. He hasn’t yet finalized his team yet, goalkeeper and 4th choice midfielder are causing him a few sleepless nights at the moment, but he is confident that his team will be well prepared and ready to crush Fuzzy’s Spurs by 11:30am on Saturday.

    NB Mrs China Mag wasn’t available for questions. China Mag let it slip that she was on a secret scouting mission at Stamford bridge, trying to get clues as to which Chelsea players will play both games in the DGW.

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