Michael Owen says Steven Gerrard ‘transformed’ Aston Villa
Former Steven Gerrard teammate Michael Owen has called Aston Villa a “transformed team” since they appointed head coach last month.
Villa won Gerrard’s first two games in charge before being narrowly beaten by defending Premier League champions Manchester City in midweek.
The defense has been beefed up, conceding just three goals in three games, compared to the last five games in Dean Smith’s tenure, where 13 were conceded.
It didn’t come at a cost for the future either, as five goals were scored at the other end, with Ollie Watkins in particular profiting by doubling his total for the season under Gerrard.
These numbers match Owen’s assessment and the player-turned-expert backed Villa to continue their strong start against Leicester City on Sunday.
“Having started his tenure with two wins,” he told BetVictor, “Steven Gerrard will have been encouraged by the performance against City on Wednesday.
“They played well for most of the game and they look transformed.
“There is no consistency with Leicester this season.
“A draw at Southampton is not a disastrous result, but they had to aim more.
“One bright spot is the form of James Maddison, who has scored in his last three games in all competitions.
“It’s hard to call, but I want Villa to add to their good form.”
If Owen’s prediction turns out to be correct, Villa would overtake their opponents on goal difference and could return to the top half of the table for the first time since early October if further results occur.
READ MORE: Carney Chukwuemeka breaks silence as Steven Gerrard comments on Aston Villa contract
READ MORE: Aston Villa XI vs Leicester Predicts: El Ghazi remembers as Steven Gerrard forced into key change