While Hull City will be aiming to return to the Premier League by winning promotion this season, all eyes will be on Aston Villa new boy, John Terry.Having served Chelsea superbly for so long, Terry has made the move to Aston Villa. Not including loans, he will play Championship football for the first time in his career on Saturday evening as Aston Villa welcome Hull City to Villa Park.
With Steve Bruce in charge at Aston Villa also having managed at Hull in the past plus the addition of Russian manager Leonid Slutsky in the Tigers dugout, this is set to be a very interesting game.
Both teams will start the season with promotion to the Premier League their only goal.
Aston Villa Form
Aston Villa have had a strange preseason, with the cancellation of 2 friendly matches perhaps leaving them a little short in the run-up to the new campaign.
In the games they did play Aston Villa lost to Shrewsbury Town and picked up draws with Walsall and Watford. Both games ended 0-0.
Aston Villa have been busy in the transfer market and in addition to singing Terry have brought in Sam Johnstone, Glenn Whelan, Chris Samba and Ahmed Elmohamady, the latter of which came from Hull City this summer.
Home form in the Championship was excellent last season and Aston Villa lost only 3 Championship games at Villa Park.
Hull City Form
Hull City battled hard to survive in the Premier League last season and delivered some good performances at home in the second half of the campaign under Marco Silva. However, it was not enough to keep them in the top-flight and Silva left the club as they were relegated.
Slutsky has not had much room for manoeuvre in the transfer market, with his biggest outlay being the £3.8 million spent on defensive midfielder Kevin Stewart from Liverpool. Other additions include Ondrej Mazuch, Frazier Campbell and Liam Edwards.
Hull City struggled badly away from home in the Premier League and have a difficult first away fixture in the Championship this season. Last time Hull City were in the Championship, during the 2015/16 season, they won only 2 of their last 7 away games on the way to promotion.
Aston Villa will be without with last season’s leading scorer Jonathan Kodjia, who is set to miss the first month of the season. Jack Grealish will be out for at least three months and Mile Jedinak will miss the opening couple of weeks of the season.
Abel Hernandez and Adama Diomande have been battling to get fit for Hull City and should be available for selection. David Meyler could make a return to the team following knee surgery but Evandro is rated as doubtful.
Top Betting Tips
There seems to be a bit more optimism at Villa Park at the start of this season than there has been in recent campaigns and they will be eager to get off to a good start. They have the more settled looking team and will want to take maximum points from this home fixture. Aston Villa are 11/10 with Ladbrokes to win the game.
The cameras will be focussed on John Terry for much of this match and the former England international will be a danger from set-pieces. You can get 10/1 for John Terry to score at any time.
Aston Villa kept 6 clean sheets in their final 8 Championship games last season. Bruce will be keen to build on that and win this game without conceding a goal. Aston Villa to win to nil is 11/5 with Ladbrokes.