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Familiar Faces: Aston Villa

A look at the links between The Bees and today's opponents

26 December 2017

Aston Villa's squad today has one face familiar to the fans at Griffin Park as Scott Hogan makes his first return to west London following his club-record move to the Midlands.

The striker scored 21 goals in 36 appearances over two-and-a-half injury-hit seasons at Griffin Park before leaving for Villa in January. The 25-year-old has found life much more difficult under Steve Bruce at Villa Park, having scored just four goals in 32 appearances with only one of them coming in the Sky Bet Championship. 

Scott is the only current member of either squad who has represented both teams but plenty of other players have made the trip along the M40 in previous years. Paul Merson was an FA Cup Finalist with Aston Villa during a four-year stay at Villa Park having featured for The Bees on loan from Arsenal more than a decade earlier.

Heading further back in time Brentford Hall of Fame winger Leslie Smith spent 17 years with the two clubs either side of the Second World War. The Ealing-born youngster played 81 peacetime and more than 150 wartime games for Brentford, scoring both goals in the 1942 War Cup Final, before a seven-year spell with Villa.

Others to have worn both red and white and claret and blue include the scorer of our first-ever EFL goal, Reg Boyne, strikers Warren Aspinall and DJ Campbell, Gerry Peyton, Steve Sidwell, and Harry Forrester. 

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