Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Aston Villa

We could do this the easy way or the hard way, inevitably being Aston Villa the easy way doesn’t exist. Off the back of a promising performance albeit a loss to Champions League Runners up Spurs, Premier League football finally returned to Villa Park for the first time since 2016 and Villa fans were looking for their first 3 points in the competition since February of that same year. Excitement levels were high, Villa Park had a few cosmetic upgrades, a chance for many fans to see our new look side live in action for the first time and within the first minute of the game we’ve conceded a penalty that was converted by Joshua King. Typical Villa, however, we’ve come back from higher goal deficits in the past and there was still 89 minutes to play. 10 minutes later a costly dummy from Douglas Luiz left a loose ball for Harry Wilson to pounce on and his deflected shot goes in off the post.

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Match Preview: Aston Villa v Bournemouth

Come Saturday afternoon 1197 days will have passed since Villa Park last hosted Premier League football. Our last top flight outing resulted in a tepid 0-0 draw with Newcastle United that, at the very least, halted a run of 11 straight defeats and dragged our opponents into the relegation mire.

A lot has happened since then mind – a couple of takeovers, three Championship seasons, two play-off finals and four wins (zero defeats) against our cross-city neighbours! However, one thing is for sure, we’re in a much better place now both on-and-off the pitch than were back in May 2016.

And whilst we were dogging it down in the Championship this weekends’ opponents Bournemouth have been up to a different kind of graft and guile; steadily building the foundations of what can now be considered a reasonably safe and sturdy Premier League outfit. Having said that, manager Eddie Howe is as down-to-earth as they come and will know that survival is not a given. As is the case for most clubs outside of the ‘big six’.

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