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Aston Villa’s predicted starting XI to face Bournemouth

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Aston Villa host their first Premier League fixture of the season at Villa Park as Bournemouth are the visitors to the West Midlands.

Dean Smith’s side were defeated 3-1 by Champions League finalists Tottenham in the opening game of the season last weekend with John McGinn scoring Villa’s only goal.

There were four competitive debuts given by the 48-year-old as Tom Heaton, Wesley Moraes, Trezeguet and Bjorn Engles were handed starts.

But will the Championship playoff winning boss make any changes after succumbing to defeat on the opening day? We take a look below at how he could select his side.

Despite losing the opening game, Villa actually looked like they could hold their own in the Premier League this season.

That McGinn strike was the game’s only goal until the 73rd minute when Spurs’ Tanguy Ndombele rocketed in a strike from long-range before Harry Kane’s four-minute brace in the final minutes of the match flattered them.

That being said, it is likely Smith operates a similar side – in fact, we only make one change from last weekend which sees Matt Targett make his debut at left-back in the place of Neil Taylor.

Smith was criticised by pundit Noel Whelan after the defeat, who claimed Villa invited the pressure on themselves by defending too deep.

The swap to Targett, a more attack-minded full-back would take steps in resolving that. Taylor managed just 0.6 key passes in the game against Tottenham whilst Targett averaged 1.4 per game last season.

Even though the club brought in two midfielders in the form of Douglas Luiz from Manchester City and Marvelous Nakamba from Club Brugge, there would be no reason to change the current trio of Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish and McGinn.

Ahmed Elmohamady did little wrong in defence against Spurs, winning three tackles and making five clearances, so Frederic Guilbert may have to wait longer for his debut. 24-year-old Anwar El Ghazi could also keep his place ahead of Jota.

Wesley, meanwhile, seems extremely likely to remain in attack due to their lack of options in that area.

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Article title: Aston Villa’s predicted starting XI to face Bournemouth

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