Aston Villa are staring into the abyss ahead of the Premier League restart with just nine games to thrash their way out of danger.
Dean Smith’s men have played nice football at times this season, but far too often they have failed to turn performances into points, and prior to lockdown the season appeared to be running away from them.
There are several bright sparks among the ranks who will be tasked with keeping Villa afloat, but question marks remain over whether they have the clinical touch and resolute defensive capabilities to claw their way to crucial wins in their remaining Premier League fixtures.
Check out your complete guide to Aston Villa’s 2019/20 season ahead of the Premier League restart.
Aston Villa in 2019/20
Manager: Dean Smith
Top scorer: Jack Grealish (9 goals)
Most assists: Jack Grealish (8 assists)
Check out our full list of Aston Villa fixtures 2019/20.
How’s your nerve, Jack? Villa spent north of £100 million at the start of the campaign in a bid to consolidate their place in the Premier League at the first time of asking, yet their hopes are pinned on a local lad who has been with the club since he was six years old.
Grealish is a maverick talent, but maturing all the time. His first spell in the Premier League was flashy but often uncontrolled. He has returned as a fully fledged playmaker capable of winning games alone, but will he be enough to turn the tide?
He does drift out of games at times, as every player in world football will do, and more often than not when that happens his teammates fail to pick up the slack.
Errors, errors, errors have cost Villa dearly at the back all year long, so that’s an immediate area that must improve if they are to build a credible survival push, but finding a striker capable of leading the line with Wesley still injured (and ruled out regardless after being omitted from the squad list in February).
Looking for all the remaining Premier League matches and how to watch them? Check out our Premier League fixtures guide.