Watford v Aston Villa: match preview

Aston Villa will be keen to scale even greater heights this season and a trip to Watford could allow an easy road towards doing exactly that. Dean Smith’s rock-solid defence will be on hand to shut down attacking threats as per usual but with Jack Grealish gone, Leon Bailey isolating, Douglas Luiz not back from Olympic duty and Emi Buendía and Ollie Watkins doubtful, Villa look more than a little threadbare across the rest of the pitch. The evergreen but non-threatening Ashley Young’s presence on the wing says it all regarding what might prove a sluggish start at Vicarage Road. Graham Searles

Saturday 3pm

Venue Vicarage Road

Last season n/a

Referee Mike Dean

Last season G25 Y91 R8 3.96 cards/game

Odds H 12-5 A 7-5 D 12-5

Subs from Foster, Elliot, Ngakia, Deeney, Masina, Sema, Gosling, Fletcher, Gray, Hughes, Quina, Success, Kabasele, Sierralta, Pollock, Kucka, Baah, Hungbo, Perica

Doubtful None

Injured Chalobah (ill, 21 Aug), King (groin, 21 Aug), João Pedro (knee, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y81 R2 (last season)

Leading scorer Sarr 13 (last season)

Subs from Steer, Davis, Chrisene, Wesley, Philogene-Bidace, Chukwuemeka, Tuanzebe, Watkins, Hourihane, Traoré, El Ghazi, Guilbert, Hause

Doubtful Buendía (hip), Watkins (knee)

Injured Bailey (self-isolation, 21 Aug), Douglas Luiz (Olympics leave, unknown), Sanson (knee, unknown), Trezeguet (knee, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y67 R4 (last season)

Leading scorer Watkins 14 (last season)