No more pressing our faces against the railings at Villa Park, no more scrolling the TV channels for ANY other meaningful sport & no more small talk with our loved ones.
Ok – maybe I’m getting a little over-excited at the prospect of Villa facing Fulham in a fixture that is essentially an open doors training match. However, ever the optimist, I’m happy enough to consider this game a relatively decent run around; moreso than most first round Europa League fixtures!
Villa are in Portugal for some warm weather pre-season training. It’s reasonable to assume that the side will be a mix of players form Villa’s first team, reserves and development squads as Sherwood runs the rule over what he’s got at his disposal. Expect unfamiliar faces and plenty of substitutions.
Villa are likely to be without Fabian Delph who has not travelled due to the imminent birth of his second child [cue wild Man City transfer rumours]. Additionally, Ciaran Clark may miss out due to the monitoring of an ongoing knee injury.
Aside from that Villa looked relatively unscatched and it may provide an opportunity for Libor Kozak to get some game time, following a horrendous leg break and long rehabilitation period. Christian Benteke, granted additional leave due to international commitments has joined the tour & may also feature.
The game may also provide an opportunity to view new signings Micah Richards & Mark Bunn.
Fulham struggled in the Championship last season, finishing 17th, but their squad does feature a few familiar names; Scott Parker, Moussa Dembele & Ross McCormack. Fulham are currently managed by Kit Symons.
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