Robbie Savage rules out Aston Villa while picking Premier League 2023/24 title winner

Robbie Savage does not believe Aston Villa can challenge for the Premier League title and thinks they should target a top-four place.

Aston Villa have seen a phenomenal rise under Unai Emery this season and, in fact, in the last 18 months since the Spaniard took charge. The former Villarreal boss previously rejected Newcastle United for the right project and chose the Midlands outfit over others in the Premier League.

Emery, since arriving at Villa Park, has raised their playing levels and propelled them to new heights by qualifying for the UEFA Europa Conference League. This season, he has made further improvements, and their back-to-back wins over Manchester City and Arsenal have put them into the conversation about a potential title challenge.

Aston Villa are third in the standings, with only two points separating them from leaders Liverpool. Now, it is a question of whether Emery can have the tools to strengthen the side in January and continue their momentum or if all this rise is a false dawn of sorts.

Robbie Savage has categorically ruled them out of the running for the Premier League title this season, as he names Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City as the potential contenders. Savage has seemingly taken on a safer route in predicting the primary challengers for the crown, which his comments that appeared on TEAMtalk indicate.

Savage said, “They are still my title favourites and for me, the team to beat. But what I will say is this is probably the most open title race we’ve had in years. When you think of years gone by, it’s just usually been two teams contesting for the trophy – be that Man Utd, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and City – title duels, if you like.”

“But this season, there’s so many teams around the top who will fancy their chances. But I’ll stop short of saying four teams can win it – because I don’t think Aston Villa can win it!”

Furthermore, he went on to suggest Villa may not have the tools for a title run-in and insisted they focus on achieving a top-four finish.

Savage continued, “Listen, they’ve done remarkably well; I didn’t even consider them as top-four contenders at the start of the season. But, the week they have had, beating Man City, which was incredible and then to follow that up a few days later with a win against Arsenal, was just brilliant. Unai Emery has done a wonderful job there.”

“They have a phenomenal home record, but I just think if they can get in that top four, that would be an unbelievable achievement. But why don’t I think they can win it? It’s because I think Liverpool and Manchester City, over the season, are better.”

Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal are all well-equipped with squad depth and capable of challenging for the title. Arsenal, for instance, have requirements ahead of January, and they will look to spend significantly if it helps with their title run-in.”

Similarly, Liverpool needs a new defender after Joel Matip’s injury, while Manchester City will also look to strengthen one or two areas of their team. Villa, on the other hand, are in danger of these top clubs moving for their key stars.

Douglas Luiz has attracted interest from both Arsenal and Liverpool, while there’s also talk of star striker Ollie Watkins attracting attention. If Emery can keep these players and then add to the squad correctly in essential areas, the club will undoubtedly think they have a chance to mount a title challenge, especially if they maintain a modest point gap with the top two or three teams between now and next month.

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