Fantasy Football Focus 2014/15: Aston Villa

Villa Park Outside

With the new season looming it's time to assess your fantasy football options. Today's focus will be on Aston Villa.

Aston Villa endured another poor season by the club's high standards and finished 15th in the Premier League last time out, and Paul Lambert's side will be desperate to improve on that by the end of the next campaign.

Nine players have left since the end of the last term, with three new faces added in Kieran Richardson, Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole and the trio will add some much needed experience into the side, but where should you be looking from a fantasy football perspective?

Budget options

DEF - Jores Okore - The young Danish centre-back joined the club last summer but an anterior cruciate ligament injury in September ruled him out for the entire campaign. The 21-year-old has returned and has already featured in pre-season for Villa, and will surely be a regular in the lineup if he can remain fit. With Ron Vlaar being linked with a move away this summer, Okore could be the best bet at centre-back for The Villains.

MID - Fabian Delph - The Englishman is a regular in the side and will play see regular action in midfield. He made 34 appearances last time out, starting in 33 of those games and is a cheap option for a midfielder who will play whenever fit. The 24-year-old is continuously improving, as he scored three goals with two assists last season and is someone who could pick up regular points with some solid displays.

Worth a gamble

MID - Leandro Bacuna - The Dutchman can play at right-back or on the right side of midfield and picked up a fair amount of points last season. He will take penalties and free-kicks in Benteke's absence and scored five goals in 35 appearances last time out. The 22-year-old has plenty of scope to improve and if registered as a defender in the fantasy game you play should certainly be worth considering.

MID - Joe Cole - The 32-year-old has joined the club on a free transfer after bring released by West Ham at the end of the last season, and if he can become a regular in Paul Lambert's starting lineup, Cole could pick up plenty of points from goals of assists. He made 20 Premier League appearances for The Hammers last time out, scoring three goals but only started six times. If he plays regularly, Cole could be good option for a relatively low price.

MID - Charles N'Zogbia - The Frenchman didn't feature at all last season after injuring his Achilles tendon while on holiday last summer but has returned for pre-season and scored in Villa's 2-0 win against FC Dallas on Wednesday night. The 28-year-old would certainly be worth considering if he can force his way back into the side as he features on the wing or behind the striker and can be deadly in and around the box. It may be best to watch his form early on before putting him in your side as there are so many question marks over where he will play and how much action he will see.

Must-haves

FOR - Christian Benteke - The powerful striker is the star man in the side but will not feature until October at the earliest, after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in training in April and missed the World Cup as a result. He should still be in any manager's plans once he returns as he is the target man and provider of the majority of the team's goals. The 24-year-old scored 10 goals in 26 games last season and also popped up with two assists, and should be on the shortlist for when he eventually returns from injury.

Which Aston Villa players will make your fantasy team?

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