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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

22 August 2018 Venue Villa Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Aston Villa vs Brentford

Get all the key info ahead of tonight's top six clash at Villa Park

22 August 2018

Aston Villa vs Brentford

Sky Bet Championship

Villa Park, Kick-Off 7.45pm


To say it's been an interesting few months for the Claret and Blue half of Birmingham would be putting it lightly. A 1-0 Play-Off Final defeat to Fulham was followed by a summer of uncertainty, on and off the pitch, as Villa's financial woes were laid bare for all to see. Experienced players like John Terry, Christopher Samba, and Gabby Agbonlahor left while vultures circled over prized assets including Jack Grealish. Steve Bruce too looked set to leave Villa Park as he struggled to bring any new players in against the grim financial backdrop. 

However, last month saw new investment into the club in the shape of the NSWE group and a renewed optimism around Villa Park. Bruce was able to add to his squad with John McGinn and Orjan Haskjold Nyland joining permanently while Axel Tuanzebe returned on loan from Manchester United. 

Stability off the pitch has brought results on it with Villa heading into tonight's game unbeaten in four to begin the campaign. Victories over Hull City and Wigan Athletic, and a draw with Ipswich Town last time out, sees The Villains sit sixth, behind The Bees on goal difference. Progress was also made in the EFL Cup after a 1-0 victory over Yeovil Town. 


Villa are down to just one fit striker for tonight's game with Keinan Davis and Scott Hogan both out for the foreseeable future with groin injuries. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy is still building-up to full fitness while Ross McCormack hasn't been handed a squad number for the new campaign leaving Jonathan Kodija as their only striking option. 

For The Bees, Emiliano Marcondes will miss out with a foot injury while Rico Henry remains sidelined with a long-term knee injury. Tom Field, Chiedozie Ogbene, Moses Odubajo, and Marcus Forss all featured for Brentford B last night against AFC Bournemouth meaning they too are unlikely to make the trip to Villa Park. 


This season is Steve Bruce's 40th in professional football after a stellar career as a player and a manager. Bruce started out at Gillingham but made his name as part of the Norwich City team that won promotion from Division Two in 1986 before finishing fifth in Division One the season after. While at Carrow Road he also won the League Cup in 1985 before moving to Manchester United in 1987. At Old Trafford, Bruce won three League titles, three FA Cups, three Charity Shields, a League Cup, the European Cup Winners' Cup and the Super Cup.

Bruce ended his career at Sheffield United before taking his first managerial role with The Blades. He lasted just a season at Bramall Lane and had short spells with Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic, and Crystal Palace before returning to another of his former clubs, Birmingham City. In six years at St Andrew's, he twice won promotion to the Premier League but left in October 2007 after a falling out with the board. He achieved mid-table Premier League finishes with both Wigan Athletic and Sunderland before moving to Hull City in 2012. He led Hull to promotion during his first season before keeping The Tigers up, and reaching the FA Cup final for the first-time in 2014. He wasn't able to achieve the same results the following year, leading to relegation, but The Tigers roared back, winning the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs in 2016. Despite winning promotion, frustration at a lack of transfer activity at The KCOM Stadium, saw him depart a month later before he arrived at Villa Park that October.


Listen to Dean Smith's pre-match Press Conference

Ref Watch: Find out more about tonight's match officials

Away Day Guide: Plan your trip to Villa Park

We Meet Again: Look back at our Boxing Day victory over The Villains


Brentford wins: 2

Draws: 4

Aston Villa wins: 6

Last competitive meeting:

Brentford 2 Aston Villa 1, Sky Bet Championship, 26 December 2017

Brentford: Bentley; Yennaris, Mepham, Bjelland, Barbet; McEachran (Mokotjo), Woods, Sawyers; Jozefzoon, Canos, Vibe (Maupay)

Goals from Romaine Sawyers and Lasse Vibe wrapped up the points in front of the Sky Cameras


Mark Burridge is your host from Villa Park tomorrow. He'll be joined by Mick Cabble and Ciaran Brett, bringing you live match commentary from 7.15pm.

Download the Official Brentford FC App to get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views and reaction from the game. Visit the Play Store or iTunes App Store now to download. 

Tonight's game is also Live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football from 7pm. 

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Match Reports

Aston Villa 2 Brentford 2

Last-gasp equaliser denies Bees win at Villa Park

22 August 2018

Brentford were denied a third win in an unbeaten four-game start to the Sky Bet Championship season by a last second equaliser from Aston Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia. The Bees looked set for all three points as they lead deep in stoppage time at Villa Park. Neal Maupay has scored twice for the visitors, either side of a Kodjia goal, to put them 2-1 up. But Kodjia struck again to level it up and earn his team a draw.

A point a piece was probably fair on the balance of play. Villa had much the better of the first half and Maupay’s first goal to put Brentford in front came against the run of play. Kodjia equalised late in the first half but some changes after the interval enabled The Bees to dominate the later stages. And when Maupay put them in front with eight minutes to go it looked like that would be enough for the win. But Kodjia found a last gap leveller to make it 2-2 and share the spoils.

Villa were quickly out of the blocks and had Brentford penned back for much of the early stages. They matched up Brentford with three central midfield players and seemed to be slightly quicker to the ball in that area. The home side dominated possession in the opening minutes and probably should have been ahead inside 90 seconds when John McGinn darted in to the box on to a Kodjia lay off and toe poked narrowly over the crossbar.

That was one of a few early openings for the home side, as well as an appeal for a penalty waved away by referee Jonathan Moss when Henrik Dalsgaard got very tight to Albert Adomah and the Villa man tumbled over inside the box. Daniel Bentley dropped a deep free kick and the Brentford goalkeeper was fortunate to see a clearance from Dalsgaard hit Ollie Watkins and bounce wide. A James Chester header deflected over the top and, after Ezri Konsa had given the ball away, Bentley had to save from Jack Grealish after the stylish attacking midfield man had picked up an Ahmed Elmohamady pass and wriggled free.

Bentley had to deny Grealish again when Brentford failed to deal with a cross that Adomah couldn’t turn home and the Villa man found space to shoot low. The Brentford goalkeeper was then well-positioned to save above his head when Glenn Whelan let fly from 30 yards as the resulting corner was half cleared.

It had been a difficult opening 20 minutes for Brentford. They were forced on the defensive and had little attacking possession. Villa were making it hard for The Bees to play up the pitch, the central midfield players had little possession and the attackers were starved of service. There had been half an opening when Josh McEachran combined with Yoann Barbet and Romaine Sawyers to free Maupay and he created some space before Axel Tuanzebe came back to make a vital tackle.

But that was Brentford’s only real sight of goal in the first 20 minutes and it took until the midway point of the half for their first shot. It came from a sustained spell of possession that ended with Sergi Canós breaking in to the box, he was tackled and the ball fell to Lewis Macleod, but his snap shot flew over the bar from 18 yards. When The Bees went ahead moments later, it was very much against the run of play.

The goal came when Canós got away on the right after good work by McEachran and Macleod and Alan Hutton was slow to track him. The Spanish winger was able to play a ball to the far post where Watkins cushioned a header in to the path of Maupay and the striker made no mistake, lashing in to the top corner as the ball bounced up. It was a superb finish and well executed goal but one that The Bees didn’t really deserve. And it was almost two soon after when a deep Macleod corner found an unmarked Maupay ten yards out, his header was destined for the corner but Whelan cleared off the line.

The goal could have rocked the hosts but they hit back and soon regained the initiative. There was no let-up in their pressing as they harried all over the pitch and simply stopped Brentford playing through them. They also used the pace they had in attack to drive The Bees back and they were soon creating chances to level.

An Elmohamady header deflected wide and Mile Jedinak nodded a McGinn corner across the face of goal before Grealish created space on the edge of the box and lifted a shot over. Bentley saved from Kodjia but was helpless moments later when the Villa striker levelled. Kodjia isolated himself on Konsa in the inside left channel and wriggled away from him before lashing past Bentley at his near post. The Brentford goalkeeper had little chance after Kodjia beat Konsa and Brentford’s lack of covering defenders meant beating one man had the striker in on goal.

Canós had seen a shot blocked just before Villa’s equaliser but there was no doubt the home side deserved to be level and they had the upper hand in the later stages of the half without being able to fashion another good opening. And the home side soon regained control at the start of the second half.

Brentford made a change at the break with Kamohelo Mokotjo replacing Macleod and it looked as if that would have an impact. The Bees had a lot of the ball in the early stages of the second half and created a chance when Maupay broke free in the inside right channel, but Chester raced back to affect the shot and Orjan Nyland made the save. But Villa were soon back on their game, harrying intensely and stopping Brentford’s forward momentum. They also went looking for the game’s crucial third goal.

A Jedinak header was desperately scrambled away after a deep Grealish corner before McGinn curled a shot over from the edge of the penalty area. McGinn missed the target again soon after before Grealish found acres of space on the left, wriggled his way past Mepham and forced Bentley in to a save with a fierce near post shot. The best chance of that spell fell to Kodjia when he met an Adomah cross with a volley after a run down the left but Bentley was well position and gathered comfortably.

With the game heading past the hour mark Nico Yennaris was brought in to the game. His athleticism and freshness, alongside Mokotjo, gave Brentford an extra midfield presence and Villa’s hold on the game reduced. They no longer had control of central areas, their ability to press was diminished and Brentford were able to force mistakes from the home side. Yennaris almost marked his introduction with a goal when he let fly from 25 yards but Nyland got down well low to his right to push it behind.

Yennaris was in the action moments later as he surged through a Villa midfield looking increasingly tired and fed Watkins but his low shot deflected wide of the near post. A Konsa header was blocked soon after as Brentford started to look like the team most likely to get the next goal. And so it proved.

There was a huge gap in the home midfield for Barbet to move in to and he fed Watkins. Tuanzebe was left for dead as Watkins burst in to the box and he let fly with a shot that Nyland superbly saved. But as the ball looped up, Maupay reacted quickest, getting a boot to the ball and forcing it home from close range to restore Brentford’s advantage.

That lead should really have been extended as Brentford pressed in. Saïd Benrahma met a Barbet cross with a diving header that Nyland somehow kept out, forcing Mr Moss to check the technology to see if it had crossed the line. Moments later Yennaris won the ball back deep in Villa territory and Watkins worked his way to the by-line, the ball was pulled back and Maupay’s shot was bravely blocked by Conor Hourihane. The ball dropped loose and Benrahma let fly but the ball hit Maupay and bounced wide.

And those missed chances proved crucial as Villa struck. Mr Moss penalised Chris Mepham for a soft foul and a free kick was taken quickly, the ball was worked to the right and delivered in the box, it flicked a head and reached Kodjia at the far post who looped a header over Bentley and in to the net. It was a cruel end to the evening for The Bees but they earned themselves a point and remain unbeaten with eight points from four Championship games.

Aston Villa: Nyland; Tuanzebe (sub Hourihane 82 mins), Chester, Jedinak, Hutton; Whelan (sub Hepburn-Murphy 85 mins); Elmohamady, McGinn, Grealish; Adomah (sub Green 70 mins); Kodjia

Subs (not used): Moreira, Taylor, Bjarnason, Elphick

Bookings: Kodjia (16 mins), Chester (67 mins), Grealish (68 mins)

Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Konsa, Mepham, Barbet; McEachran (sub Yennaris 60 mins); Canós (sub Benrahma 72 mins), Sawyers, Macleod (sub Mokotjo h/t), Watkins; Maupay

Subs (not used): Daniels, Jeanvier, Woods, Judge

Bookings: Watkins (32 mins), Benrahma (75 mins)

Attendance: 30,011

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Ticket News

Tonight’s tickets available at Villa Park

Pay on the Day tonight from the Visitors Ticket Office on Witton Lane

22 August 2018

The Bees travel to Villa Park today and away tickets will be available at Villa Park. Dean Smith’s side is unbeaten against Aston Villa since 1953 and look to get a positive result from their trip to Birmingham. Take a look at the food and drink options available tonight: Lower Tier Q and Upper Tier P

Away Supporter information can also be found here.




(65+/ full-time student/ Armed Forces)

Under 21

Under 18s

Standard prices






Coaches depart from Layton Road Car Park at 3pm. Book by phone on 0203 665 7371 or 07414 883220, Monday to Friday, 12pm-8pm.


Travel Club 

Season Ticket Holders
and Club Members






Join the Bees Travel Club and save on coach fares. Membership is just £25 for the season, free for those 12 and under, and affords members a number of benefits. For further information please email  


More information can be found online here.

Note: All tickets are subject to the Terms and Conditions of issue. The purchase of a ticket constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions and acceptance of the Ground Regulations. Members discount does not apply to away games.

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