Unai Emery: Perspective on Aston Villa Premier League Aspirations

Unai Emery: Perspective on Aston Villa Premier League Aspirations

Suggestions that Aston Villa are real challengers for the Premier League title have been downplayed by Unai Emery.

The Spaniard miraculously turned Villa from a squad headed for relegation to one that took seventh place and earned a spot in the Europa Conference League the previous season.

Since then, the West Midlands team has only improved, amassing 29 points from 14 games prior to their Wednesday night matchup against champions Manchester City.

Unai Emery: Perspective on Aston Villa Premier League Aspirations

Pep Guardiola’s team was expected to respond because City had lost their last three games, but a rampaging Villa team outworked and outfought City, who deservedly won 1-0.

Although Villa needed a goal from Leon Bailey in the second half to separate the two teams, Villa had an incredible 22 shots on goal compared to Man City’s two.

Villa is now two points ahead of City and just four points behind leaders Arsenal, who they will play on Saturday, in third place in the Premier League standings.

Naturally, Emery was questioned after the match about whether Villa had suddenly become serious contenders for their first Premier League championship since the 1980–81 season.

He downplayed these assertions, stating that seven other clubs are more qualified to win the championship in May.

The Independent cited the 52-year-old as saying, “We are not contenders. We are not as competitive as seven other teams.

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We are currently at game fifteen. We will concentrate on our upcoming game sixteen versus Arsenal on Saturday. Although we are pleased to be in third place, it will be extremely challenging to stay there.

“We’re going to strive to keep it while we’re there. We might be a contender if we continue to go through the season, winning games and performing well, but I believe we need more time.

“We are not contenders, but we can believe.” That remains the same—there are seven more teams. We are in game 15. Perhaps in games 30 or 32, but not just yet.

With their 14th straight Premier League victory at Villa Park, Villa’s triumph over Man City tied a club record that dates back to 1903.

Aston Villa’s Pursuit of Brahim Diaz Reveals Transfer Fee

Aston Villa's Pursuit of Brahim Diaz Reveals Transfer Fee

Real Madrid is said to have set a price for Brahim Diaz, an alleged target of Aston Villa.

Despite the fact that Los Blancos bought Diaz from Manchester City in January 2019, he has spent the majority of his time at the Bernabeu on loan.

The playmaker spent three seasons in the colours of AC Milan, excelling for the Italian giants and winning the Serie A title at San Siro.

Despite producing 18 goals and 15 assists in 124 games across all competitions, the 24-year-old is yet to make an impact on his return to Real Madrid.

Aston Villa's Pursuit of Brahim Diaz Reveals Transfer Fee

Only one start and eight replacement appearances have been made, with his lone start in the first XI lasting only 57 minutes in a 2-0 victory over Las Palmas, in which he scored.

As a result of his restricted playing time, a recent report said that the Spain international is considering leaving Real Madrid as soon as possible.

The problem is compounded by Diaz’s contract, which runs until 2027, and Carlo Ancelotti’s opinion of him as a backup player.

Nonetheless, Real executives, according to Sport, would be willing to do business if offered €20 million (£17.45 million).

Villa have been mentioned as a possible destination for Diaz, with Unai Emery maybe looking for a new versatile creator in January.

Despite the fact that Villa are the Premier League’s second-highest goal scorers, with 23 goals in nine games.

West Ham have also been linked with Diaz as they hunt for a competitive edge in the second half of the season, while also preparing for a lengthy European campaign.

Diaz had only five Premier League games with Manchester City, accumulating only 49 minutes of action in substitute appearances.

Diaz has also played only 545 minutes in La Liga, with those minutes distributed across 23 games.

Aston Villa attempt to snap a 91-year winning streak against Wolverhampton Wanderers

Aston Villa attempt to snap a 91-year winning streak against Wolverhampton Wanderers

Aston Villa will look to snap a 91-year winning streak when they go to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.

Unai Emery’s team has made a solid start to the 2023-24 season, winning eight of their first 12 games across all competitions.

Five of those triumphs have come in seven Premier League games, with the West Midlands club now sitting in fifth place on the table.

Villa have found things significantly more difficult in the Europa Conference League group stage, beginning with a 3-2 defeat at Legia Warsaw last month.

To their credit, Villa replied with a 1-0 win over Zrinjski Mostar on Thursday night, although with a last-gasp winner from John McGinn deep into additional time.

Aston Villa attempt to snap a 91-year winning streak against Wolverhampton Wanderers

However, Villa have had little such problems scoring goals in the Premier League, with their total of 18 goals only surpassed by Brighton & Hove Albion, who have tallied 19.

If Villa score at least two goals in their derby against Wolves at Molineux, they will have scored 20 goals in their first eight Premier League games for the first time since 1932.

Despite failing to score in one of their games – a 3-0 loss to Liverpool – and scoring one goal each against Newcastle United and Liverpool, that opportunity has arisen.

Villa have lost five of their past six visits to Wolves, with their lone victory coming in December 2020 thanks to a late Anwar El Ghazi penalty.

When he joins the Wolves attack for this encounter, Hwang Hee-chan will be seeking to set a 50-year best.

Including matches from last season, the South Korean international has scored in his previous four Premier League games at Molineux.

If he scores on Sunday, he will be the first Wolves player to do it since John Richards did so in 1973, with club icon Richards going on to score in six consecutive games.

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