At Bournemouth, new captain and match facts from the BBC

It's exciting right? I mean, maybe it's just me, but no other football matters as much. Pre-season is nice, but I'm just not interested in it. It's like training, I'm not interested in that. I know it's important but it's all about days like today.

And we have reasons to be optimistic and I've written this before I think or I've thought it anyway, but it feels different.

It's probably because I'm buying into the hype even though I know it really does come down to what happens on the pitch for the ninety minutes later today, but it's okay to buy into it today and the next few weeks, because we have to have a little hope. Right?

We've not only brought in a few new players but we have a new captain too. I've not written about it as it's quite new news, but if anyone should know the attributes of a good captain, it's our manager. And I'm one of those that think the captain is an important figure that can have an impact. It feels nice.

So, now I just have to wait eight more hours until the match, but it does mean I can get back into my preferred Saturday routine. And if you haven't signed up for the fantasy football, you can do so here. I think I'll be closing it soon as we have about 150 people signed up. Maybe I close the ability to sign up the League at 3pm today.

And that said, it's it. I'll be back later.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Bournemouth have won the last three meetings by the same 2-1 scoreline.
  • Aston Villa have scored in each of their last eight games against the Cherries in all competitions.
  • Nine of Villa's 11 goals against Bournemouth have come in the second half of games, including all four in the Premier League.


  • Bournemouth kept 21 clean sheets on their way to earning promotion last season, more than any other Championship side.
  • The Cherries are unbeaten in their last 10 home league games (W6, D4) since a 1-0 defeat to Hull in the Championship in January.
  • However, they have won just three of their last 13 Premier League matches at the Vitality Stadium (D3, L7).
  • This is Bournemouth's 191st Premier League match, but the first without Eddie Howe in the dugout.
  • Dominic Solanke scored 29 goals last season and was the highest scoring English player in the top four tiers of English football.

Aston Villa

  • Since returning to the Premier League in 2019, Aston Villa have finished 17th, 11th and 14th.
  • This is the sixth time Villa have faced newly promoted opposition in their opening match of a Premier League campaign - they have won only one of the previous five (D1, L3), but that did come at Bournemouth in 2015-16.
  • Aston Villa won only two of their final 11 Premier League fixtures last season (D3, L6).
  • Philippe Coutinho has been involved in three goals in his last two Premier League appearances against Bournemouth, scoring and assisting in his only previous visit to the Vitality Stadium in a 4-0 win for Liverpool in December 2017.