Premier League Preview: Aston Villa Host Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United

Dean Smith’s side were granted an extra week of preparation and he’s expected to field all three of his summer signings against the Blades.

Club record transfer Ollie Watkins should lead the line at Villa Park, with Emiliano Martinez and Matty Cash also set for their league debuts.

Smith is also expected to recall Douglas Luiz and Conor Hourihane after they were given a rest for the midweek cup win at Burton.

For the Blades, they started the new campaign with a defeat, as Chris Wilder’s side lost 2-0 at home to Wolves.

Wilder has no new injuries to contend with following that game, but he is expected to make some changes.

Sander Berge and David McGoldrick both made an impact off the bench against Wolves and the pair could come in from the start in this one.

And it will be all eyes on the West Midlands tomorrow night, with a 6pm kick off at Villa Park.

Dean Smith the key factor in Ollie Watkins’ Aston Villa switch

The 24-year-old striker joined Villa from Brentford in what is reported to be a club-record £28million deal that could potentially rise to £33million.

The moves sees Watkins reunited with former Bees boss Smith, who was in charge at Griffin Park when he joined the London club from Exeter in 2017.

Watkins had other options but he said Smith “sold” him the move to Villa.

“I’m delighted, it’s a massive club,” he told Villa TV. “Dean sold it to me, really. I’m definitely excited to get back working with Dean, I’m really looking forward to it.

“He sold it to me as soon as I met him. I told my agent I really want to get that sorted as soon as I heard they were interested.

“I’m looking forward to working with him and Rich (O’Kelly), they gave me a lot of confidence playing under them at Brentford. Hopefully they can do that again now.

“It’s been a long time coming but I’m buzzing it’s done now, I can’t wait to get going. I cannot wait to wear the famous claret and blue in the Premier League. I want to do something special here and score some goals.”

Villa had been looking to bolster their strike force after only securing Premier League survival on the final day of last season.

They had been linked with Callum Wilson prior to his move from Bournemouth to Newcastle earlier this week.

Watkins scored 26 goals last season in a campaign that saw Brentford reach the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

Smith said: “Ollie has developed into one of the most sought-after strikers in the country and we are looking forward to seeing him show his great qualities in an Aston Villa shirt.

“He is a hugely determined character who has both the ability and personality to succeed at the highest level.”

Boss eye Transfer Swoop for relegated duo

Tabloid reports suggest Villa are very keen on Buendia with Premier League rivals Crystal Palace also credited with an interest.

If captain Jack Grealish was to leave Villa Park, Buendia is seen as an ideal replacement. Only Grealish, Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne created more chances in the Premier League than Buendia in 2019-20.

Grealish continues to be linked with a move away from Villa, with fresh reports in the national press today claiming that Manchester United and Manchester City are interested in the 24 year-old.

Now The Telegraph is reporting that Villa are interested in Buendia but are also keen on Norwich teammate Cantwell, and stories continue to link them to Brentford’s Ollie Watkins.