Villa, who are currently in pre-season training in Wales, are to take advantage of being in the West of the UK to head to Bristol City.
City, who Villa comprehensively demolished 5-0 at Villa Park whilst in the Championship will be the squad’s first pre-season clash of the summer.
The game, whilst bizarrely badged as ‘secret’ by the Bristol based press, will be played closed doors. The ‘secrecy’ is apparently in order to discourage fans from congregating to catch a glimpse, with Covid-19 a going concern in the UK and the prospect of a second spike looming.Embed from Getty Images
Bristol City’s other friendly against Cheltenham Town took place at Ashton Gate on Friday 21st August, in a game the Robins comfortably won 4-0. Former Villa striker Andreas Weimann was on the scoresheet, whilst Nahki Wells bagged himself a hat-trick.
Nahki Wells’ name won’t be unfamiliar to Villa supporters either, with the striker part of a lowly Bradford team that sprung a humiliating semi-final shock on us in 2013.Embed from Getty Images
Villa are however a different beast these days and will likely view these close season encounters as valuable preparation for a second Premier League campaign. Dean Smith previously used the time leading up to the 2019 / 2020 season’s resumption to face Leicester and West Brom.
Despite a host of transfer news and rumour, it seems unlikely that there will be any new faces before the game takes place.Embed from Getty Images
As a side note, Dean Holden, City’s new manager ended his career at Walsall whilst Dean Smith was manager. Villa’s current assistant John Terry was also heavily linked with the role Holden took, replacing the sacked Lee Johnson.
Whilst odds will be hard to come by for this friendly fixture (given they’ll likely only be 2x 60 minute training matches), when the season resumes be sure to get the best prices at free-bets.uk.com. The Villa Underground had a snoop at OddsChecker and discovered that we are currently valued at 4/9 to retain our status in the Premier League by the end of the 2020 / 2021 campaign.
How Bristol City lined up in their last friendly (vs Cheltenham):
Bentley, Hunt, Dasilva, Vyner, Baker, Kalas, Massengo, Bakinson, Eliasson, Weimann, Wells. Subs not used: Wiles-Richards (GK), J Smith, Janneh.
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