Best Aston Villa FPL Players | Aston Villa Preview | 2022/23 Season

Unfortunately, I didn’t write the Aston Villa FPL preview intro for the 2021/22 season, otherwise, I could have pretty much copy and pasted it word for word. 

Aspirations are high after some notable summer signings and the early fixtures are appealing with Bournemouth away and Everton at home in the opening two GWs, suggesting that it makes sense to open the FPL season with at least one Villa player in your ranks. 

Hopefully, the upcoming paragraphs provide some clarity over which, if any, will make your GW1 drafts.

Aston Villa FPL Preview Blog written by Villa Fan @ManOnPod_Craig, he’s the co-host of the Man On Podcast, alongside @ManOnPod_Dronuk, @ManOnPod_Martyn, and @ManOnPod_Thomas. Check out their podcasts on FPL, SkyFF, Gaffr, and ChampManFPL on YouTube(Do Subscribe to their channel)

Link to all our 2022/23 Pre Season articles including a transfer tracker of all new signings, all team pre-season friendly updates, team previews, fixture analysis, position-wise analysis, and more. Completely free to access as well!

Link to all Our FPL Team Analysis Series for all 20 PL Teams from our team correspondents

Aston Villa Potential Formation and Line-up for 2022/23 Season

During his time as Rangers manager, Steven Gerrard found great success with a 4-3-3 formation, where set players benefited from clear roles.

James Tavernier was a big goal threat from full-back, often encouraged to play as a narrow attacking option tasked with getting into the box. Opposite him was Borna Barisic, who was deployed to stay much wider and be a supply line for the team.

Ahead of them, there was also a clear distinction in the wide areas. Recent Southampton signing Joe Aribo would be tasked to drift infield from out wide to create space for Tavernier. Meanwhile, Ryan Kent was more of a direct dribbler with the license to run in behind, rather than be a key creative influence.

Gerrard never really had the players to completely recreate this playing style when arriving at Villa, so has spent his time to date jumping between formations.

A 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield remains an option and has been seen in pre-season, while a fairly narrow 4321 with two numbers 10s is also a possibility given the players at Gerrard’s disposal.

However, a return to the Rangers 4-3-3 looks like the Plan A for the 2022/23 campaign, with the potential to jump to a 4-4-2 on occasions, depending on opposition or state of the game.

Aston Villa GW1 Expected Line-up

Aston Villa have made 5 new transfers, with Philippe Coutinho and goalkeeper Robin Olsen making permanent their loan arrangements from last season. 

Diego Carlos is another option in central defence, while Boubacar Kamara is hopefully the missing holding midfielder that the club has arguably needed since returning to the Premier League in the 2019/20 season.

Left-back Ludwig Augustinsson completes the quintet arriving on loan after Matt Targett’s departure to Newcastle.

A little bit more on all the new Aston Villa signings here along with the new signings of all the clubs

Aston Villa Pre Season Performances

  • Walsall 0-4 Aston Villa (Bailey, Archer, Watkins, Luiz)
  • Aston Villa 1-0 Leeds (Ings)
  • Brisbane Roar 0-1 Aston Villa (Archer)
  • Manchester United 2-2 Aston Villa (Bailey, Chambers)
  • Rennes 1-2 Aston Villa (Bailey, Carlos)

Link to our pre-season round-up for all Pre-season fixtures, including line-up, goals and assists for all premier league teams.(Directly scrolls to Aston Villa)

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Aston Villa FPL Assets


Aston Villa best FPL assets for the 2022/23 season ~ Martinez

Rewind two seasons and Martinez was the top keeper in FPL after amassing 186 points. This was largely due to 142 saves coinciding with 15 clean sheets.

What made Martinez so effective was that many of these shots he faced under Dean Smith’s management were fairly low xG. It’s almost the perfect situation in FPL; a goalkeeper who faces lots of shots, but said shots are largely not expected to be converted.

Under Gerrard for much of last season, this flipped on its head. Villa conceded fewer chances (477 down from 538), but the opportunities they did give up were notably better chances. It’s understandable why many perceive that Martinez’ level dipped, but I think some of this criticism is a little unfair.

His 186 points dropped to 129 last season and the likely scenario this term is somewhere in between. I would expect a few more clean sheets, but not much change on his 97 saves. It’s likely at least one other £5m keeper or even potentially a £4.5m keeper outperforms him, but Martinez would be a solid pick.

Further Read: FPL Goalkeepers Analysis & Combinations with pros and cons

Full Backs

Aston Villa best FPL assets for the 2022/23 season ~ Matty Cash and Lucas Digne

Both Matty Cash and Lucas Digne are £5m and both are serious options at that price point. Who is the best is dependant on your appetite for goals and assists.

As mentioned earlier, Villa’s full-backs will follow Gerrard’s Rangers model, with Cash the man to have a higher goal threat, while Digne is more involved in general play and encouraged to cross balls into the box.

Cash ranked fifth among all defenders in FPL last season for goal attempts, with only Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Virgil Van Dijk registering more on target than his 13.

Alternatively, Digne ranked third for crosses behind Liverpool duo Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson and third behind the same pair for chances created. 

Cash is comfortably the more higher-owned of the pair at the time of writing with a 20.6% ownership, compared to Digne’s 3.9%.

Cash also ranked fourth last season among defenders for fouls committed and this was a big reason for his eight yellow cards. This obviously leads to a points deduction in FPL, a reduction in his scope for bonus points and may even cause him to miss fixtures through suspension.

On the plus side, he is probably the more nailed of the pair, with Digne the clear first choice at left-back, but with some competition from loan recruit Augustinsson.

Further Read: Best £5 & £5.5 Million FPL Defenders for the 2022/23 FPL Season

Central Defenders

Aston Villa best FPL assets for the 2022/23 season ~ Diego Carlos

New signing Carlos is comfortably the most nailed of the four Villa centre backs and based on pre-season he looks to have the important job of being chief distributor to get possession into the more advanced players. 

A goal in the final friendly vs Rennes suggests he will possess some goal threat and being new to the league it’s difficult to suggest how well he will perform in terms of bonus points.

Despite that, it’s hard to see him outperforming either of the full-backs from an FPL perspective and so for the same money, he’s an avoid.

Villa’s other three central defenders, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, and Calum Chambers, are all £4.5m and so may be tempting to some as a way of saving budget.

However, it’s not obvious at the moment which of the trio will partner with Carlos.

Mings has given up the club captaincy to John McGinn, which could suggest there are concerns over his minutes, Konsa won the nod alongside Carlos against Rennes in what looked like a potential strongest XI and Chambers has played the most pre-season minutes of the threesome.

There are far more secure options from other clubs at the same price point to avoid picking the wrong one.

Further Read: Best £4.5 Million FPL Defenders for the 2022/23 FPL Season

Central Midfielders

Kamara looks like a crucial signing to Villa as a whole. He should prevent Villa from being so open, with Douglas Luiz often asked to operate as the deepest midfielder last season, even though this didn’t maximize his skill set.

This should help Villa be more compact in front of the back four, while he has the passing capabilities to help in ball progression. I really can’t undersell how critical this signing is for our quest to qualify for European football should he hit the ground running.

However, as an FPL asset, he looks like a non-option at £5m.

New captain McGinn and young pretender Jacob Ramsey are much more interesting at £5.5m. McGinn is all action and capable of scoring some long-range screamers.

His attacking influence was thwarted last season as he had to play a more disciplined role to support Luiz. The hope is he plays slightly more advanced this season now that Kamara has been signed.

Ramsey is likely to play the furthest forward of the Villa midfielders and has the useful attributes of being a better ball carrier, with a knack of drifting into pockets of space around the box.

Despite this, his expected goal involvement was considerably lower last season than the likes of Wolves’ Pedro Neto, Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, and West Ham’s Pedro Fornals, who are all the same price this season.

Therefore, all these Villa midfielders are probably avoids for GW1.

Further Read: Best £5 & £5.5 Million FPL Midfielders For The 2022/23 FPL Season

Attacking Midfielders

Aston Villa best FPL assets for the 2022/23 season ~ Phillipe Coutinho

In terms of FPL ownership, Coutinho (18.6%) is the only other Villa player besides Cash with an ownership above 10%.

It’s understandable as he has to be considered the club’s star player and there’s every chance that if he is on top of his game, then Villa have a much higher chance of winning.

Yet he has been very inconsistent in his time at Villa so far and this has continued in pre-season. He was largely anonymous vs Manchester United, but was then the best player in the opening 45 minutes vs Rennes.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see him begin with a couple of double-digit returns, but I haven’t seen enough yet to make me seriously consider him for my GW1 draft.

The same cannot be said for Leon Bailey.

Aston Villa best FPL assets for the 2022/23 season ~ Leon Bailey

Goals in pre-season vs Walsall, Man United and Rennes have shot him onto everyone’s radar for good reason and he unarguably has the highest upside of any £5m FPL midfielder.

He arrived from Germany with a big reputation, but last season was blunted by a collection of injuries. The good news from my perspective is that all the injuries were different. A repeat of hamstring injuries, for example, would have me much more concerned that we may get a repeat.

Bailey has had a strong pre-season and I find it hard to fathom how Gerrard doesn’t start him against Bournemouth. He looks like our form player and the only attacker in our ranks to play the role of a direct dribbler, with the license to make those runs from out to in and appear in central positions.

Don’t be surprised to see Villa build up down the left through a combination of Digne, Coutinho, and Ramsey and then see Bailey ahead of Ollie Watkins in the hope of getting on the end of the final ball.

Further Read: Best Mid-Priced FPL Midfielders (£6.0 -£7.5 Million) | 22/23 Season


Aston Villa best FPL assets for the 2022/23 season ~ Watkins

Watkins tops the Villa charts for pre-season minutes, has been working specifically with a coach on his finishing during pre-season, and has been fairly reliable to date by reaching double figures for goals in each of the last two campaigns.

If it all clicks and his finishing has improved, it’s not out of the realms of possibility that he reaches 20 goals this season. With strong opening fixtures, I think he is under-owned in GW1 for those wanting a differential at £7.5m.

Danny Ings looks to be next in line and in his favour is that he looks to be on penalties when he is on the pitch (Coutinho or Watkins likely take them when he isn’t).

However, I don’t see many starts and at £7m it’s hard to suggest he is a better option than the likes of Ivan Toney at Brentford.

Aston Villa best FPL assets for the 2022/23 season ~ Cameron Archer

The other striker worth mentioning is Cameron Archer. He had a successful loan spell at Preston last year and by all accounts there were numerous Championship clubs queuing up to take him on loan again.

The fact Gerrard has rejected these so far suggests Archer is likely to get minutes for Villa to continue his development and opinion is that he is already the most prolific finisher at the club. He scored vs Walsall and Brisbane in pre-season too, netting more than both Watkins and Ings.

With many FPL managers eyeing up a budget forward, he is a worthy inclusion for that spot.

Further Read: Best FPL Forwards to Consider Ahead of the 2022/23 FPL Season

Who Am I Having?

Bailey looks a lock based on pre-season. He seems low risk at £5m and I’d be happy to leave him on the bench should his injury proneness strike again.

I’ve currently got Archer too in my final forward spot, but that could change should it seem there is an alternative more guaranteed to get regular minutes.

Finally, I have space for a £5m defender in my squad and with a plethora of options, my shortlist is actually quite long! 

I think I slightly favour Digne over Cash because of his general higher involvement in play, the fact he could take some set pieces, and being close to Coutinho. But it really is a coin toss between them.

Aston Villa Fixtures

Gameweek: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
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Aston Villa Fixtures

GW8 to GW13: Southampton, Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Chelsea, Fulham, Brentford(Chelsea the only hard fixture)
GW1 to GW3: Bournemouth, Everton, Crystal Palace
GW8 to GW10: Southampton, Leeds, Nottingham Forest

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Link to all our 2022/23 Pre Season articles including transfer tracker of all new signings, all team pre-season friendly updates, team previews, fixture analysis, position-wise analysis, and more. Completely free to access as well!

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