Our team-by-team Fantasy Premier League (FPL) review of the 2022/23 season continues with Aston Villa.
In this series, we take an in-depth look at each top-flight side’s campaign, analysing them from an attacking and defensive perspective, whilst also identifying their biggest goal threats and key creators.
We’ll return to do a preview of each club closer to the big 2023/24 kick-off, factoring in new transfers, pre-season results and fans’ expectations.
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ASTON VILLA IN 2022/23: ATTACK
|Total||Rank v other clubs|
|Shots in the box||278||14th|
|Shots on target||148||10th=|
|Expected goals (xG)||49.51||11th|
|Non-penalty expected goals (NPxG)||46.35||12th|
Aston Villa posted mid-table numbers in all of the above attacking metrics in 2022/23, a slightly underwhelming return given their 7th-place finish.
However, it’s important to isolate Unai Emery’s time in charge, given his impact.
At the time of Steven Gerrard’s departure in October, Villa had won just two of their first 11 games and were outside the relegation zone only on goal difference, but the Spaniard’s appointment proved to be a masterstroke by the club’s decision-makers, as he guided the same group of players to Europa Conference League qualification.
A flurry of victories in 2023 propelled Villa up the table, as they scored 40 goals (1.6 per match) under Emery. They also hit the woodwork from shots nine times during that period.
Still, that upturn in form wasn’t necessarily reflected in their underlying attacking numbers. For example, they ranked as low as 16th for shots in the box from Gameweek 15 onwards, Emery’s first match in charge.
They were, however, much more efficient in the final third, outperforming their expected goals (xG) by 6.28.
Above: Aston Villa ranked 10th for minutes per expected goal (xG) under Unai Emery (Gameweek 15 onwards)