Christian Benteke

Last season

Premier League: 15th

FA Cup: Third Round

League Cup: Third Round

Top Scorer: Christian Benteke (11)

Summer's work

Aston Villa's transfer business already suggests their main target will be to secure a Premier League spot. Paul Lambert has spent around £4m in bolstering the midfield with Colombian international sensation Carlos Sanchez but has been forced to look for players on the cheap to strenghten other areas. Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos, who will have another chance in the Premier League after a failed six-month spell at La Liga side Valencia, have both joined, as have Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho with the focus on strengthening the left side. Off the field, as owner Randy Lerner struggles to sell the club, Roy Keane has been appointed as Paul Lambert's assistant.

Manager – Paul Lambert

Lambert is looking nervously over his shoulder as the new season begins. Keane's appointment as his assistant points towards Villa covering for any slow start to the campaign. Though the club have been lauded for their recruitment of young players, the policy holds little credence with Villa having finished 15th in both of Lambert's seasons in charge and having barely strengthened in the summer, a long season for the Scot is expected.

Key player – Fabian Delph

With Christian Benteke out of action due to injury, Fabian Delph is expected to lead the team from the midfield, after making a dramatic improvement at Villa Park. The 24-year-old was one of the few positives from a horrid camaig last season and alongside new signing Carlos Sanchez could further enhance his reputation.


Benteke's return to action can't come soon enough for Villa, with the Belgian forward the only ray of optimism for supporters at the start of the season. Sanchez's late arrival, Delph's job in the midfield and Ron Vlaar's experience in the centre of the defence following his excellent World Cup give hope that they can fight off relegation but there is little to convince elsewhere.

Prediction –19th

Survival should be the target once again.