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Match Previews

Match Preview: Brentford vs Aston Villa

31 January 2017

All the info ahead of tonight's meeting at Griffin Park

Brentford vs Aston Villa

Tuesday 31 January
Griffin Park
Sky Bet Championship
Kick-off: 7.45pm

The Opponents

Despite a nine point gap separating Villa from the top six, the Play-Offs are still very much the aim at Villa Park this season and Steve Bruce has been busy in strengthening his squad this month ahead of the run-in. Nottingham Forest captain Henri Lansbury was the first to arrive and he has been joined in the last week by James Bree and Conor Hourihane [both Barnsley] and Birkir Bjarnason [Basel]. Those in-comings have been offset by the sale of Rudy Gestede to Middlesborough and the loan departures of Pierluigi Gollini [Atalanta] and Aly Cissokho [Olympiakos].

Bruce will be hoping those arrivals can turn around a run of five games without a win in all competitions that have seen Villa drop away from the Play-Off pack. After parting company with Roberto Di Matteo in early October, Villa won seven of their next 12 games under Bruce to climb to tenth on Boxing Day. However, just two points from a possible 12 since then have seen them slip back into mid-table. All four new signings are expected to feature tonight at Griffin Park, especially with midfielder Mile Jedinak missing out due to a groin injury. 

The Manager

Steve Bruce is approaching 40 years in the game after a stellar career as a player and a manager. Bruce started his career at Gillingham but made his name as part of the Norwich City team that won promotion from Division Two 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 with Birmingham City and 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 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. keeping The Tigers up, and reaching the FA Cup final for the first-time ever, in his second season. 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 last campaign. Despite winning promotion in May, frustration at a lack of transfer activity at The KCOM Stadium, saw him depart a month later.  

The Match Officials

Referee: David Coote
Assistant Referees: Mark Russell and Geoffrey Russell
Fourth Official: Dean Whitestone

Pre-match Views

Maxime Colin: “Tomorrow is another challenge.”

Ticket news

Tickets will be on sale right up until kick-off to Previous Purchasers for tonight's meeting against Villa Click here for more information and to buy now.

Travel News

Directions on how to get to Griffin Park and matchday parking arrangements can be found here.

Match Betting

Principal partners 888sport offer the latest odds on tonight's meeting.
Bees 33/20
Villa 5/3
Draw 11/5

Join Club Sponsors 888sport today and get industry leading odds on a range of sports markets!

Match Coverage

You can hear live match commentary on Bees Player from 7.15pm tonight, with Mark Burridge and Dave Morley.

There will be live match updates on Twitter from 6.45pm.

Download the new Brentford FC app on android and iPhone and get all the coverage from Griffin Park in one place. Download for free here.

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