Full details for all Aston Villa Pre-Season Friendlies / Fixtures (Summer 2019)
Date: Wednesday 17th July 2019
Opposition: Minnesota United (AWAY)
Kick Off Time: 7pm (US Time) – 1am (UK Time)
Tickets: $22+ / £17+ | You can buy online here.
Minnesota Utd knocked out reigning US Open Cup champions Houston Dynamo on June 18th and are aiming for the playoffs. Our hosts are nicknamed ‘the loons’, are regarded as having a decent attacking line up and have taken steps to address a leaky defence. They are considered playoff contenders within the MLS, having joined the franchise in 2017. Villa will face off against Minnesota at their modest but impressive, state of the art 19000 capacity stadium, The Alliaz Arena. There are multiple travel options to get to and from the ground, with public transport connections available to view here. A return flight from Birmingham to Minneapolis (16.7.19-19.7.19) will set you back a cool £1465.
Date: Sunday 21st July 2019
Opposition: Shrewsbury Town (AWAY)
Kick Off Time: 2pm (UK Time)
A more local affair comes in the form of League 1 side Shrewsbury Town. Villa have, as with previous years, been allocated the West Stand for this friendly fixture. Our hosts saw out a final day stalemate with our next pre-season opponents Walsall, a result that saw The Saddlers relegated to League 2. Shrewsbury fared little better throughout the 2018/19 campaign, only securing survival in League 1 a week before the final round of games. Full details of how to get to the ground can be found here – with direct trains from New Street available – journeys take 1 hour. Villa faced Shrewsbury in 2017, losing 2-1, in a game that saw John Terry make a losing debut as club Captain. The Wild Pig and Charles Darwin Pub’s are within a 15 minute walk and offer match-day parking. Villa have been awarded an allocation of 1645 for the game.
Date: Wednesday 24th July 2019
Opposition: Walsall FC (AWAY)
Kick Off Time: 7:45pm (UK Time)
Tickets: £12 adults (£6 Concessions) – £15 for an adult and child family ticket. Full details including opportunity for corporate can be found here.
Walsall were relegated from League 1 on the final day of the 2018/19 season. The Saddlers, despite producing steadily from their academy and astute transfer dealings in recent years, have lost their way in the last couple of seasons. Dean Keates, a former fan favourite as a player was at the helm last term, before being dumped as the relegation trapdoor lurched open. The Saddlers is a mainstay of Villa’s pre-season fixture list generally, rarely being omitted from the calendar. Indeed, Villa won the 2018 contest 4-1, with Conor Hourihane bagging a hat-trick.
The ground is readily accessible via train from New Street, but make sure you hope off at Bescot Stadium. Alternatively you can continue into Walsall, where there is a decidedly mixed bag of pubs. The best one in the town is arguably Lyndon House (note there’s a dresscode, but beer and bar is excellent) – with alternatives such as the well stocked Black Country Arms (award winning real ale pub) not far away if refused. Be aware that if in the centre you’re a good 15 minute taxi journey from the ground. Nearer to the ground is slim pickings in terms of pubs (try King George V) and the Saddlers’ club immediately outside the stadium remains closed at the time of writing. Villa have an allocation of 1574 for the fixture.
Date: Saturday 27th July 2019
Opposition: Charlton Athletic (AWAY)
Kick Off Time: 3pm (UK Time)
Tickets: To be confirmed.
Villa last faced Charlton 13 years ago, succeeding to an injury time winner & a 2-1 defeat. The Villa squad that day featured jogging bottom wearing Kiraly in goal and also saw a cameo from the instantly forgettable Isiaiah Osbourne. However, Villa have generally fared well against the hosts, winning almost 50% of the 60 meetings between the two sides in competitive games. This friendly will also serve as a testimonial for Addicks defender Chris Solly. Charlton were successful through the League 1 Playoffs last term and will compete in The Championship next term. Lee Bowyer remains in charge, despite a very public contract dispute with the owners. The Valley is notoriously an effort to get to, with the closest railway station being Charlton itself (join at Charing Cross, London Bridge or Waterloo East). More reliable and frequent are London Underground trains – you’ll need to pick up the Jubilee Line and get off at North Greenwich, before jumping the 161, 472 or 486 bus.
Date: Saturday 3rd August 2019
Opposition: Red Bull Leipzig (AWAY)
Kick Off Time: 2:30pm (German Time)
RB Leipzig didn’t even exist a few seasons ago and are very much a ‘marmite’ team within German footballing circles. Despite this, the side formed from the ashes of a regional league side in 2009 have featured in The Champions League and finished 3rd in the Bundesliga last season. Leipzig were impressive also in the domestic cup competition, only losing out to Bayern Munich in the final. Whilst their rise has been meteoric owing to their rich benefactor corporate owners, things aren’t all going Leipzig’s way. Indeed, their hot property striker Timo Werner is widely expected to defect to Bayern, despite desperate attempts from Leipzig not to lose him for nothing when his contract expires in 2020.
Leipzig is readily accessible from Germany’s major transport hubs via ICE high speed and regional rail services, with Berlin the closest in terms of air and subsequent rail connection. Whilst some fans have floated the idea that Dusseldorf, Frankfurt or Stuttgart are feasible entry points, be aware that this would require significant overland journeys to the far east of the country. Having lived and worked frequently (still) in Germany, I’d advise heading to the capital (Berlin) before taking a roughly 1 hour journey via high speed train. This route is well served by multiple budget airlines to the UK and also puts you in the heart of a vibrant and brilliant city worth seeing.
WATCH THE GAME LIVE
A real positive is that the Villa are providing streams for all of the pre-season fixtures on the official Youtube Channel here.
For a bit of fun, we’ve put together our match result predictions for all Villa’s pre-season games below.
Whilst friendlies are hard to gauge given form and fitness, there are free bets to be had & football games to be won!
Minnesota United – DRAW – Aston Villa
Shrewsbury – AWAY WIN – Aston Villa
Walsall – AWAY WIN – Aston Villa
Charlton – AWAY WIN – Aston Villa
RB Leipzig – HOME WIN – Aston Villa