The fixtures for the Barclays Premier League 2014-15 season will be released tomorrow. Currently doing the rounds on social media sites, the ‘leaked screenshot’ below supposedly shows the fixtures for the Premier League’s opening day. According to the supposed leak, Aston Villa will face Manchester United at Villa Park on Saturday 16th August at 3p.m.
Of course, we have seen alleged leaks in the past that turned out to be nonsense. Nevertheless, this image got me thinking and I would like Villa’s first game of the season to be at home. The claret and blue army kicked off the last two seasons away from home so it would be nice to start the new campaign in front of a home crowd, building on the great atmosphere in the stadium for the last home game of the 2013-14 season.
The opening day of last season is certainly one worth remembering: an impressive 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium had Villa’s travelling fans jumping for joy as a chorus of boos echoed from the home fans seated around the Emirates. Two goals from Christian Benteke and a last minute third from debutant Antonio Luna saw Lambert’s lions earn their first three points of the season in style.
One opener that I’m sure Villa fans will have tried to forget is the opening day of the 2009-10 season. The first fixture saw the Villans face Wigan Athletic at Villa Park. This was Roberto Martinez’s first game in charge of Wigan Athletic and it was a winning start for the Spaniard. A beautifully struck half volley from Hugo Rodellaga gave the visitors the lead after thirty-one minutes before Jason Kouma’s second half goal secured all three points for the Latics.
The Villans’ record on opening day in the last five seasons shows a loss, a win, a draw, a loss and a win, which fits the team’s form over this period, when the Villans have been consistently inconsistent.
Different fans will have their own preferences as to which team would like to see Villa play on the opening day and whether they’d rather be playing at home or away. Whichever team Villa will face on the opening day, let’s hope that the Villans start the new season with a win!