June 15, 2024

There have been some extremely shoddy performances against Brentford, Everton, Brighton, Wolves, and Crystal Palace. Although they had to work extremely hard to earn those points—they had fallen behind in four of those matches—10 points out of 16 is a respectable return.

The statistics from their most recent first half support the obvious conclusion that they have a slow start to their games. The expected numbers, which indicate they have only averaged 0.5 worth of expected goals in the first half of those games—the second worst first-half record in that period—support the failed to score in four of those five first halves stats. Considering that each of those five games was against a team in the bottom nine, that is extremely bad.

In Focus: Ollie Watkins ready to reach new heights with Aston Villa |  LiveScore

They now play an Aston Villa squad that, if first halves were the only ones that mattered this season, would have won the Premier League; they entered the game having won 13 of their 27 games and amassed 47 points before the break. Unai Emery is obviously trying to play aggressively from the start since, in the 54 games since he came over in October 2022, only Liverpool and Man City have produced more of what Opt

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