O'Neill's kids are on the fast-track and they’re learning quickly
Headmaster Martin O’Neill gets highly strung pitch-side, but shows patience with his young team. With expectations high after last season’s sixth-place finish, he will hope to see lessons learned by his home-grown charges.
Head boy Ashley Young has tormented full-backs since moving to Villa Park from Watford. He’s contributed his fair share of goals, including some thrilling set-pieces.
Maths Almost half of Villa’s 71 league goals last season came from corners or free kicks.
English England expects at least one of the following to become a regular: Ashley Young, Marlon Harewood, Stuart Taylor,Nathan Delfouneso, Curtis Davies, Zat Knight, Wayne Routledge, Nigel Reo-Coker, Craig Gardner, Isaiah Osbourne and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
History The Villans took points off all the big boys bar United, but couldn’t quite force themselves into the top echelons.
Tuck shop item Bubble gum. Sweet, but bubble could burst unexpectedly.
Predicted grade B Proven manager and a promising young squad bode well. With a little more concentration and application, this can be a big year for Villa.
Detention Nigel Reo-Coker topped last season’s bad boy league with 10 yellow cards and one red, and his behaviour will come under great scrutiny from the start of the new term.