Wolverhampton-Aston Villa Preview
Dean Smith has no doubt Emiliano Buendia will soon discover his best form for Aston Villa, who host Wolves in a midlands derby on Saturday.
Buendia arrived at Villa in a club-record deal from Norwich City in the off-season, and has taken the number 10 shirt vacated by Jack Grealish.
However, the Argentina international has scored just once – a stunner against Brentford – and played only five times in the league so far, making just three starts.
Smith, though, has complete faith in the playmaker.
"We signed him because of the quality he gives us and we know what he can give us. He shows that every day in training and it won't be long before he's in the team," said Smith. "Their job is to go out and work hard every day and be ready to perform in the arena on a match day. I have seen a player there who is able to do that. He was getting up to speed, scored his first goal against Brentford, and then had to go off with Argentina.
"He has a lot of qualities but the one I have seen over the last three or four weeks is a drive and desire to succeed. I think all players need that and he has that in abundance."
Wolves boss Bruno Lage, meanwhile, is looking to build on the 2-1 win over Newcastle United before the international break.
"When you are in a competition you want to compete, when you lose you want the next game in a few days and when you've won it's the same," he said.
"We are doing well, some good performances and some good results. In the last two days we've reminded the players of what they did against Newcastle and put our minds to do the same against Villa."
Aston Villa – Ollie Watkins
Watkins opened his account for the season in Villa's defeat at Tottenham last time out, before heading away with England, and he will be looking to hit the ground running as the season gets into gear.
Wolves – Trincao
Trincao has the highest expected goals total of any player yet to score in the Premier League this season (2.4), with the Portuguese registering 15 shots without success so far (seven on target).
In his first five Premier League games this season, Wolves' Raul Jimenez had 14 shots and 15 chances created, but no goals or assists to his name. However, the Mexican has now been involved in each of Wolves' last three league goals, scoring once (three shots) and assisting twice (four chances created).
Villa have won just one of their last seven home league games against Wolves (D4 L2), winning 4-1 in a Championship match in March 2018.
Wolves have won four of their last seven league meetings with Aston Villa (D1 L2), more than they had in their previous 27 against the Villans (W3 D10 L14).
Villa are unbeaten in their last five Premier League home games (W3 D2), with the Villans last having a longer run without defeat at home in the top-flight between April and October 2011 (8 games).
Wolves have scored six goals fewer than their expected goals total would suggest, giving them the biggest negative difference between goals scored (5) and xG (11) in the competition this term.
Updated October 15, 2021