Watford return to life in the Premier League when they host one of last season’s biggest overachievers, Aston Villa, at Vicarage Road on Saturday (Watch live at 10 am ET, on Peacock Premium).
The Hornets were relegated two seasons, but came back up at the first time of asking after finishing 2nd in the EFL Championship. This time around, Watford are led by the dynamic duo of Ismaila Sarr, 23, and Joao Pedro, 19, who combined for 22 goals and 6 assist a season ago. The goal is simply to stay in the Premier League, and for manager Xisco Muñoz to keep his job longer than his numerous predecessors.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, have their sights set on a top-half finish after coming oh so close in 2020-21. After fighting for a top-eight place for much of the season, Dean Smith’s side slipped to 11th in the final days. Now, they begin life without $140-million man Jack Grealish, whose attacking production will need to be replaced by summer arrivals Emi Buendia (Norwich City), Leon Bailey (Bayern Leverkusen) and Danny Ings (Southampton). Axel Tuanzebe is also set to spend the season at Villa Park, on loan from Manchester United, neatly rounding out a side with just enough talent and loads of depth.
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Here is everything you need to know ahead of Watford – Aston Villa this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.
Team news (INJURY REPORT)
Watford: OUT: Domingos Quina (thigh)
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) August 14, 2021
Aston Villa: OUT: Ollie Watkins (knee), Douglas Luiz (international duty – Olympics), Trezeguet (knee), Morgan Sanson (knee)
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 14, 2021
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Watford (+210) | Aston Villa (+135) | Draw (+220)
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It’s looking like a tough season is on the cards for Watford, but they face a transitioning side that’s very much a work in progress on opening day. Maybe there’s a surprise or two awaiting Aston Villa when they turn up on Saturday. Watford 2-1 Aston Villa.
How to watch Watford – Aston Villa and start time
Kickoff: 10 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium