CM – Watford vs. Aston Villa: Visitors begin their lives after Grealish


Watford is returning to the Premier League after promotion from the championship to face Aston Villa earlier in the season.

Watford achieved promotion after spending just one season in the championship. They finished second in automatic promotion, four points ahead of their new signing Brentford. The Hornets are one of the favorites for relegation so it is very important to start with a positive result at home.

Aston Villa was very busy this summer when they finished 11th last season. Long-time captain Jack Grealish moved to Manchester City for a British record of £ 100, but Aston Villa made big business, replacing him with Leon Bailey of Bayer Leverkusen, Emiliano Buendia of Norwich and Danny Ings of Southampton. Dean Smith hopes the substitutes will make up for the loss of one of the Premier League’s top players.

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In last season’s championship, the Hornets fared dramatically above average as they had an actual goal difference of 33, but their expected goal difference (xGDiff) was also much lower at 20.8.

Average since 2005 teams that are promoted from the championship have allowed 54% more goals per game in the top division than in the second division. Conversely, about 35% fewer goals per game are scored in the Premier League than in the championship.

Based on Watford’s xG record from the championship of 1.48 expected goals for (xGF) and 1.02 expected goals against ( xGA) per game, I’ve been forecasting an average of 0.97 xGF, while this season I’ve pocketed 1.57 xG per game.

Watford hasn’t made any significant progress in the transfer market either, with the average squad value per player is the lowest in the league according to

Losing Grealish was obviously a big blow to Aston Villa as he was pretty much anything when it came to creating opportunities for their offensive.

That being said, Aston Villa has used the money from the Grealish sale and put in a ton of skilled substitutes who should be able to make up for his loss on the pitch.

Leon Bailey, who joined from German club Bayer Leverkusen, is Size alish a very similar player from a creative point of view. Last season he scored nine goals and provided eight assists in the German premier league.

Even if the Villans were 11th in 18 games against the bottom nine clubs, Aston Villa scored 8-4-4 with a 12.38 xGDiff and an average of 1.95 xG per competition.

I think life in the Premier League is going to be difficult for a squad like Watford and I don’t think they have the talent to hang out with a team like Aston Villa.

Since I’ve projected Aston Villa on the street at -108, I think they have good value at 130 over DraftKings and would downplay it to 107 odds.

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