Aston Villa have released the pre-season fixture schedule amid Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings’ battle for Euro 2020 glory. For Villa fans, watching football on tv next season will be a much better experience if the club can keep hold of Grealish despite Manchester City’s reported interest.
The Lions had a decent 2020/21 Premier League season, enjoying the comfort of a mid-table finish, and will be looking to build on that next term.
With Euro 2020 well underway and Grealish’s future at the club in a corridor of doubt, Villa have already arranged four pre-season friendlies.
Dean Smith’s side will begin their preparations on Wednesday, July 21 against neighbours Walsall before taking on Stoke City three days later.
While the opening two friendlies will see Villa play away from home, the third match-up against Championship outfit Nottingham Forest will take place at familiar Bodymoor Heath on July 28.
The encounter against Nottingham will be held behind closed doors and will probably serve for the players who were away on international due to reintegrate into the squad.
Villa’s warm-up campaign will come to a close on August 7, only a week before their Premier League curtain-raiser against Watford.
However, it will be a chance for the supporters to see their heroes going up against a top-level European side as Sevilla are due to arrive at Villa Park.
Smith will have the opportunity to evaluate the new signings during the off-season as Villa hope to improve on an 11th-place finish and stake a claim for European spots in 2021/22.
Emiliano Buendia joined the ranks this summer on the back of an outstanding Championship campaign with Norwich City.
The Argentine playmaker cost the club around £33million and is expected to replace Grealish, who seems likely to secure a big-money move in the coming months.
Ashley Young returned to base after ten years, having helped Inter Milan end Juventus’ nine-year tenure in Serie A back last season.
The 35-year-old wing-back should inject experience and winning-mentality into a relatively inexperienced Villa side and become one of Smith’s most trusted allies in the dressing room next season.
Despite Ollie Watkins’ impressive breakthrough Premier League campaign, the Lions are also working on landing Southampton goal-machine Danny Ings.
Ings’ potential arrival could help Villa improve a respectable return of 55 goals from 38 league matches last season and boost their chances in a possible top-seven race.