The fixture list this year has been relatively kind to Aston Villa in my opinion. There are, however, stretches of games which will be more difficult than others.
There are three periods that may be very important and dictate our season and it is vitally important to remain consistent this season. This is something which deserted us last year and ultimately eliminated any hope of any kind of promotion push. That simply can’t happen this time round. Here
Here is the run of fixtures which I believe may test our team’s resolve the most in the 2017/2018 season.
The opening six
Whilst these aren’t necessarily our toughest fixtures on paper, a strong opening to the season will set the tone for the rest of it. A slow start last time around meant that teams weren’t afraid to play us, and meant that we were playing catch-up right from the start.
An opening-day home win against a newly promoted Hull, Steve Bruce‘s former side, will do a lot for our confidence. We then have two tricky away days against Cardiff and Reading, and we must aim to get at least three points from those two trips. Our abysmal away form really cost us last season.e started with disappointing away losses to Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City. This time, we need to take the game to teams, even away from Villa Park.
That started with disappointing away losses to Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City. This time, we need to take the game to teams, even away from Villa Park.
A home game against Norwich is another tough game before we move on to right the wrongs of last year away at Bristol once again. We then start September at home against a Brentford side that played us off the park on Sky Sports last year and is certainly not a side to be overlooked.
This run of games is a test, for sure, and I’d like us to be around the play-off places at the end of them.
The Festive Season
The festive season is possibly our toughest run on the fixture list and we will certainly have our work cut out. December starts at Elland Road and then takes Villa to Pride Park before Christmas.
Then, a Boxing Day trip to Brentford is shortly followed by another tough away fixture against newly relegated Middlesbrough. These four trips are extremely tricky for any team and come at a very important stage of the season.
At Villa Park, we have a game against Burton Albion that must be seen as a very winnable game. Sheffield United then visit Villa Park on December 23rd, meaning that we must capitalise when we’re at home over Christmas. On the road, I would like six or more points ideally from those four tough games. It is easier said than done, however, and Bruce will recognise that this stretch of games will test his side’s resolve and promotion ambitions.
On the road, I would like six or more points ideally from those four tough games. It is easier said than done, however, and Bruce will recognise that this stretch of games will test his side’s resolve and promotion ambitions.
The season run-in.
April can make or break dreams of the Premier League (just ask Leeds fans). A good start must come with an equally strong conclusion to the season. 46 games make for a long campaign and our final stretch of fixtures will demand full commitment from start to end during the season.
Games against Norwich, Reading, Cardiff, Leeds and Derby all in one month will be a serious test of our resolve. Hopefully, we will have a lot to play for come April. A trip to Portman Road may be identified by the club as an away game we can win, with last season bringing a very dull and disappointing goalless draw.
Our last game? Away at Millwall. Should this mean anything to either side, which it likely will, it will make for a very feisty affair. We have to make the trip at some point though and just maybe, it could make for a very satisfying final day for us. We can’t get too
We can’t get too ahead of ourselves though, and so, for now, it can be put down as a very difficult final away day.
Do you agree with my thoughts on the fixture list or do you have a different opinion? Let me know below in the comments section.