Aston Villa’s first Premier League starting XI predicted as they face Tottenham

The Premier League season finally gets underway this weekend.

Aston Villa are back in the big time too after a three-year absence following relegation in 2016.

Dean Smith’s men come into the latest campaign with an almost entirely new squad of players after 12 arrivals walked through the door at Villa Park this summer for a total amount in excess of £130m.

How many of those players feature on Saturday remains to be seen but we’ve had a go at predicting who may well be in the starting XI against Tottenham at 5.30pm.

With so many new faces arriving in the claret and blue this summer, Villa boss Smith has plenty to think about as they kickstart their season with a tough test against the Champions League runners-up.

There could be as many as seven debutants whilst a familiar trio is likely to be deployed in the heart of the pitch and there should be a start for one of their most popular loan stars from last season.

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Tom Heaton should be a certainty to start in goal as he bares the most experience in England’s top-flight of any of their current goalkeepers with 96 Premier League appearances to his name. In front of him could be as many as three new defenders.

Tyrone Mings is a familiar face and he has struck up a nice partnership with Bjorn Engels during pre-season. At right-back, Smith may favour the youthful Frederic Guilbert over Ahmed Elmohamady with both the new signings playing in France’s top tier last season.

Matt Targett joined in a £15m move early in the summer so that left-back spot could be his for the foreseeable future.

Smith added some big names in midfield but we’re not expecting any of them to make their debuts from the start on Saturday.

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Douglas Luiz joined from Manchester City but wasn’t able to link up with his new teammates until last week due to delays over his work permit and fellow arrival Marvelous Nakamba has only had one game to settle in, though he could be on the bench.

That means Conor Hourihane is likely to deputise in holding midfield as he did ever so astutely last season and during this pre-season and he will surely be joined by the popular duo of John McGinn and captain Jack Grealish.

In attack, club-record signing Wesley Moraes is a shoo-in to make his debut considering the fee paid and the other options. Meanwhile, Anwar El Ghazi, scorer in the playoff final, has a niggle which could see Trezeguet start on the left wing with Jota occupying the other side.

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