Villa fan Gogulan enjoying ride as beloved team could go top

Three months ago, Aston Villa avoided relegation from the Premier League by just one point. Tomorrow morning (3am) they face Leeds with the chance of going top!

It has been a remarkable turnaround, one Villa fans never saw coming, particularly as it is the only team with a 100 per cent win record.

Everton is top of the pile on 13 points from five matches while Villa has 12 from four – the first time since 1930 it has won the opening four games of the season.

Villa finished runner-up that season.

“Staying in the Premier League is still our No. 1 aim for the season. Everything else is a bonus,” said Gogulan Dorairajoo, a diehard Villa fan.

“It’s a great start to the season and getting the points on board now will help. We had some scrappy victories although I didn’t expect us to beat Liverpool 7-2.

“My mantra now is to just enjoy the game, watch the football and see how it goes.”

Gogulan said the Villans bought wisely by bringing in Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore, Emiliano Martínez and Matty Cash while Ross Barkley is on loan from Chelsea.

This, plus holding on to Jack Grealish, who looked destined to leave the club before the season began, has helped Villa off to a great start.

“Grealish feels like a new signing for us while (Emiliano) Martinez has been great between the posts,” said the chief executive officer of Rantau Golin.

“In fact, his penalty save in the first game against Sheffield United helped start us on this winning run.”

Villa won 1-0 thanks to an Ezri Konsa header with Martinez keeping a clean sheet on his debut.

Asked his prediction for the Leeds match, Gogulan said he expects a high-scoring draw.

Gogulan says Villa has benefited from not having a hectic schedule as unlike teams like Liverpool and Leicester, it is not involved in Europe.

“There was hardly a pre-season due to Covid-19, which meant last season finished later than usual,” said the founder of football clubs KL Galaxy and Hangover FC.

“I also feel that not having fans in the stadium is a great equaliser. Sometimes when a team falls behind, the fans get on their backs. So now they can play without that added pressure.”

The other top pick for the weekend will see Manchester United host Chelsea on Sunday (12.30am).

United is searching for its first home points of the season after losing to Crystal Palace and Tottenham. It can take solace that it destroyed Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford last season.

Everton travels to Southampton on Sunday (10pm) hoping to extend its best start to a season in over 100 years.

Fixtures (Malaysian time)

SATURDAY
Aston Villa vs Leeds (3am)
West Ham vs Manchester City (7.30pm)
Fulham vs Crystal Palace (10pm)

SUNDAY
Manchester United vs Chelsea (12.30am)
Liverpool vs Sheffield United (3am)
Southampton vs Everton (10pm)

MONDAY
Wolves vs Newcastle (12.30am)
Arsenal vs Leicester (3.15am)

TUESDAY
Brighton vs West Brom (1.30am)
Burnley vs Tottenham (4am)

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