Aston Villa’s ability to keep Christian Benteke could be the difference this season in keeping them up for another year. His 19 goals in the 2012-13 EPL season was enough to put him fourth in the league. It was also exactly what Aston Villa needed to allow them to finish 15th in the league and avoid relegation.
Most of Villa’s summer has been spent resigning players including, perhaps, their best player of the season, Brad Guzan. His goal keeping ability is probably the true deciding factor in keeping them up. What they really need, though, is to provide Guzan with some more support in front of him. Their -23 goal difference was second worst in the league while they allowed the most goals scored against (69) and were fourth in the most shots conceded per game (16.8). Solidifying the back line needs to be their number one goal going into the 2013-14 Premier League season.
They haven’t made major transfers this summer, but have brought in a range of players including midfielders Aleksandar Tonev and Leandro Bacuna, forward Nicklas Helenius Jensen, defenders Jores Okore and Antonio Luna Rodriguez and a backup goal keeper in Jed Steer.
This season Aston Villa should be able to build on what they started last year. The 2012-13 Premier League season may not have gone as Paul Lambert had wished, but it gave some excellent experience to a young team that showed they had the strength to battle out of relegation and stay up. The 2013-14 EPL season should be a great chance for them to show just how good they can be. My prediction for them is a mid table finish with the possibility of top ten.