Opposition Talk: ‘Villa could challenge the top six this season’

09.11.13 - Aston Villa vs Cardiff City - Barclays Premier League - Libor Kozak celebrates scoring Villa's 2nd goal. (c) Huw Evans Agency

We catch up with Aston Villa supporter Harry Batters ahead of our trip to Villa Park

How do you think your team will get on this season?

Coming into the season, despite losing Grealish, I was confident we could challenge for the top six. The additions we made in the summer led me to believe that we were a better side than we were last season but I’m not so confident on challenging for top six. I reckon we’ll finish around ninth.

Is there a new signing that opposing teams should watch out for?

I think Leon Bailey is going to be special. We’ve only seen glimpses of him so far, but the guy is a machine. I follow Borussia Dortmund and he’s looked good every time they’ve faced Leverkusen.

Jack Grealish left Birmingham for Manchester. You’ve got to be happy with £100m.

£100m for an academy graduate? You’re asking me if I’m happy? Let’s just say I can’t complain. Yes we’ve lost a big asset, but £100m for a player we got for free when he was six is a great bit of business.

So who would you say is Villa’s best player now?

Martinez although Konsa and Watkins are also very influential too. Bailey, Buendia and Ings will be crucial for us this season too.

What about Danny Ings then? Money well spent?

Yes! You’re guaranteed goals with him, and the service and creativity around him, such as Watkins, Bailey, Buendia, I reckon he’ll score at least 15.

Villa have been back in the Premier League for a couple of seasons now. What would you see as a success this year?

I just want to see us get Europe. West Ham did it last season, and I think that should be the aim for us in the next few years. Whether it’s through the league or winning the cup, I want to see a European night at Villa Park. I won’t die a happy man if I don’t ever see that.

But do you feel your owners put enough money into the club?

More than enough. It’s nice to see owners with ambition, I’m sure you as a West Ham fan want that, it’s just unfortunate for you. I think we have the second best owners in the league behind Leicester’s. All the big six owners can get lost, they tried to leave the league.

As it’s Mark Noble’s last season for West Ham, do you have any vivid memories of him playing against your team?

In 2019, Noble’s dive against us at Villa Park. He was in the box and no one touched him and he went down. In all fairness he got straight up again which saved him from a booking I think.

What are your score predictions for your side against West Ham?

1-0 Villa.

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