Aston Villa season predictions: Loss of Benteke and Delph spells survival by smallest of margins

Aston Villa

Aston Villa ended the 2014/15 Premier League campaign in promising fashion under Tim Sherwood, but can the Villans recover from the loss of their key players?

Despite the loss of captain Fabian Delph and last season's top scorer Christian Benteke, Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood will be confident of his sides chances of fruitful Premier League campaign. 

The English manager will be hoping that his knowledge of the French top flight and subsequent recruitment - following the arrival of no less than four players from Ligue One - will prove enough to avoid another relegation scrap. 

Prediction: 16th.

Chris Linnell: The loss of Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke at Villa Park has proven a huge disappointment, but Sherwood is a talented manager and I expect the Villans to bounce back with a campaign that defies expectations.

Billy Hawkins: An already poor squad has been weakened, and Tim Sherwood’s limitations will show over a whole season in charge.

Michael Stevenson: Villa have bought well this summer – Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout being the two standouts – but the effect of losing Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph cannot be underestimated.

Lewis Doe: Villa losing three key players in Fabian Delph, Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar makes it difficult to see how they will have a comfortable season. Villa to stay up, only just.

Tim Poole: Tim Sherwood isn’t consistent enough to manage a top-six side but he’s done well at Villa and I can see them being duly rewarded with mid-table comfort.

Stephen Pickering: The West Midlands side have lost a number of key players over the summer and have decided to put their faith in some from overseas. It could be a dangerous game as relegation looks a very real threat. Key player: Scott Sinclair.

Che Thomas: Sherwood has lost too many of Villa’s best players this summer. Vlaar, Delph, and Benteke, essentially the spine of the team, have all left, and though players have come in, it’s hard to be certain how well those coming from Ligue 1 will perform, especially with Jean Makoun so fresh in the memory. They will be scrapping to the death with the promoted sides unless they can bring in a bit of proven quality.

Mathew Nash: Looked much better under Tim Sherwood but have lost Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke. Positivity breeds results however, should be fine.

Olly Dawes: Another relegation battle is unlikely, even after losing Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph. New signings are still needed, but Tim Sherwood impressed last season, and is expected to help Villa kick on again.

Damien Lucas: Once again survive by the skin of their teeth but nobody knows how as their lack of goals following the sale of the likes of Benteke nearly proves so costly.

Freddie Shires: The losses of Fabian Delph and Benteke will take their toll but Sherwood will work his magic to keep them clear of the drop.

Our writers were asked to predict the outcome of next season's Premier League campaign. We accumulated their rankings (20 points for first place, 1 for 20th, etc), and created a predicted 2015-16 league table.

And here it is:

Chelsea

Arsenal

Manchester United

Manchester City

Liverpool

Tottenham

Everton

Southampton

West Ham United

Crystal Palace

Swansea City

Stoke City

Newcastle United

West Bromwich Albion

Aston Villa

Sunderland

Bournemouth

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Watford

Norwich City

Leicester City

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