Kick-off: 1500, 14/08/2021
Stadium: Vicarage Road
Watford begin life back in the Premier League at Vicarage Road and will be aiming to kick off with a win in front of their own fans against Aston Villa.
Their supporters were absent last season as the Hornets achieved promotion back to the top flight but Watford head into the new campaign as one of the favourites in the Premier League relegation odds.
Villa went close to a top-half finish last season and seem to have a much stronger squad, so an away win at 23/20 looks a solid pick as our opening Watford vs Aston Villa prediction.
A Look At Watford’s Betting Odds
Watford had the best defensive record in the Championship last season and conceding just 30 goals played a major part in them winning promotion as runners-up with two games to spare.
Xisco took over as manager in December and transformed the club’s fortunes but how will the relatively inexperienced Spanish coach cope in his first season in the Premier League?
The signing of Josh King from Bournemouth has boosted their firepower and Ismaila Sarr will be ready to show how much he has improved after a season of regular football in the Championship, having been one of their shining lights during their relegation campaign.
Slovakia midfielder Juraj Kucka comes in from Parma, France Under-21s ace Imran Louza looks a solid recruit and former Tottenham full-back Danny Rose joined as a free agent.
Keeping things tight at the back is still likely to be the main priority, though. Under 2.5 goals paid out in all of Watford’s last eight matches of the season, while only one of those games produced goals at both ends.
We’re not expecting their approach to change significantly, so under 2.5 goals at 20/23 stands out in the Watford vs Aston Villa odds.
A Look At Aston Villa’s Betting Odds
Aston Villa came flying out of the blocks last season and boss Dean Smith will hope a kind fixture schedule allows them to do the same.
Villa enjoyed four straight wins at the start of the 2020/21 campaign, beating Sheffield United and Fulham before an amazing 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool and 1-0 victory at Leicester.
This time around their trip to Watford is followed by home games against Newcastle and Brentford so this looks a great opportunity get plenty of points on the board before the end of August.
The sale of Jack Grealish to Manchester City will have upset a lot of supporters, but most of the £100m fee has been reinvested.
Villa broke their club record to sign Emi Buendia from Norwich this summer for £38m and new striker Danny Ings was a prolific marksman for Southampton.
Smith said of Ings on the club’s website: “Danny is an outstanding Premier League footballer who has scored goals wherever he has played.
“He is also a top professional with a great character who will be a leader in our squad and a role model for our rapidly developing young academy players who are now in and around the first team.”
Jamaica forward Leon Bailey joins for around £30m after impressing at Bayer Leverkusen, while Ashley Young and Axel Tuanzebe are versatile additions.
Smith added: “Leon is a hugely exciting young striker with great pace and creativity.
“He has enjoyed a successful career at Leverkusen and we are now looking forward to watching him show his skills and talents in the Premier League.”
Consistency could be an issue once again but Villa will be hopeful of improving on last season’s 11th-placed finish.
Let’s go for a routine 2-0 away victory at 10/1 as our final Watford vs Aston Villa prediction.
WATFORD 2-0 Swansea – Andre Gray, Isaac Success
ASTON VILLA 2-1 Chelsea – Bertrand Traore, Anwar El Ghazi (pen)
Head-to-head: Aston Villa 2-1 Watford, Watford 3-0 Aston Villa, Watford 3-2 Aston Villa, Aston Villa 2-3 Watford, Aston Villa 2-0 Watford, Watford 0-0 Aston Villa
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