Aston Villa will begin life after Steven Gerrard with a Premier League clash against Brentford on Sunday afternoon, with first-team coach Aaron Danks set to lead the home side this weekend.
Gerrard was relieved of his duties following Thursday’s 3-0 defeat at Fulham, while Brentford will enter this match off the back of a goalless draw with Chelsea on Wednesday night.
The pressure was already firmly on Gerrard heading into Thursday’s contest with Fulham, and the 3-0 defeat to Marco Silva’s side proved to be the final straw, with the club confirming after the match that the former Liverpool captain had been sacked as head coach.
On Friday morning, a further statement from Villa revealed that Gary McAllister, Neil Critchley, Tom Culshaw, Jordan Milsom and Scott Mason had also left following Gerrard’s departure, with first-team coach Danks taking charge of the team against Brentford this weekend.
“The process of appointing a new head coach is underway,” said the club’s CEO Christian Purslow, and the club will be hoping that a change in the dugout will help them on Sunday, as they bid to recover from back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Fulham, with their last success coming at home to Southampton on September 16.
A record of two wins, three draws and six defeats from 11 matches has seen Villa collect just nine points, which has left them in 17th position in the table, level on points with 18th-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Villa are also the joint-second lowest goalscorers in the Premier League this season with seven, but they have only lost one of their last three league fixtures at Villa Park and held the champions Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in front of their own supporters at the start of September.
Brentford will be hoping to take advantage of Villa’s situation this weekend, and the Bees will have been encouraged by their performance against Chelsea on Wednesday evening.
Thomas Frank’s side had plenty of opportunities to overcome the Blues but found Kepa Arrizabalaga in excellent form, and they will be looking for their first away Premier League victory of the season on Sunday, picking up just three points from their five games on their travels thus far.
Brentford will be pleased with their start to the campaign, though, having picked up 14 points from 11 matches, which has left them in 10th position in the table, five points above their opponents here.
Frank’s team finished 13th in their first ever Premier League season in 2021-22, and the West London outfit certainly look capable of becoming a permanent fixture at this level of football.
Brentford are unbeaten against Villa since 1953, recording a 2-1 victory in their last meeting in London back in January, while the points were shared in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park last term.
Aston Villa Premier League form:
Brentford Premier League form:
We say: Aston Villa 1-1 Brentford
Brentford have drawn three of their five away Premier League matches this season, while Villa have won just twice in front of their own fans in the league this term. There should be a reaction from the hosts following Gerrard’s departure, but Brentford are strong enough to claim a point here.