Express & Star

Bournemouth vs Aston Villa - Match preview

Defender Ezri Konsa has called on Villa to ignore a mammoth week ahead and put focus all their efforts on tomorrow’s trip to Bournemouth.


Unai Emery’s men embark on a significant week ahead with back-to-back home clashes against Arsenal and Manchester City next Wednesday and Saturday.

First, though, they must negotiate a potentially tricky trip to the south coast to tackle a Cherries side hovering just a couple of places above the Premier League’s trapdoor.

Bournemouth, in 16th – they would be 17th were it not for Everton’s deduction – are showing signs they have found their feet under Spaniard Andoni Iraola. Three wins in four, including a fine home success over Newcastle, is testament to that.

And such an upturn in form could be why central defender Konsa, whose form was last month finally recognised with an England call, insists Villa cannot afford to look beyond the Vitality Stadium.

“Every game we are excited for,” Konsa said of Emery’s in-form side. “Obviously we have to focus on Bournemouth and then after Sunday, focus on City. We want to take it game by game.

“That is what we will do, Friday and Saturday we will focus on our gameplan for Sunday and then move on to Wednesday.”

Victory at Spurs last time out was progress away from Villa Park and a successive effort in Bournemouth may go some way to proving Villa have discovered a recipe for success on their travels.

Before Villa, fourth before this weekend’s fixtures, think too much about Emery’s former employers Arsenal, they must banish an unwanted Cherries memory from darker days, specifically the early part of last season.

Steven Gerrard’s Villa fell to a limp opening-day 2-0 defeat at newly-promoted Bournemouth in August 2022, an outcome which left the travelling faithful feeling a long way from the lofty heights of the Emery era.

Konsa agreed that day didn’t go according to plan. He said: “It didn’t. Away from home we have not been as good as we were at home.

“We want to try and bring our form from home into away games and hopefully that is something we can do. We got the win at Tottenham.

“We want to keep doing it. We are all enjoying our football and want to keep looking to the next game.”

Villa head into tomorrow’s clash off the back of a fourth Europa Conference League group victory from five attempts after Thursday’s 2-1 win over Legia Warsaw.

While events outside Villa Park captured the headlines, Emery’s troops were able to recover from a Boubacar Kamara mistake to prevail and beat Legia, who condemned Villa to defeat in the first group game.

Konsa said: “The first game was always going to be tough, especially away from home. Our form at home has also helped us get a few wins in European competition.

“We want to keep the winning mentality. We are all enjoying our football at the moment and that is what we want to continue doing.”