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Championship Guide: Aston Villa

Part One of our look ahead to next season's Sky Bet Championship

28 May 2017

The Villains will be hoping for better in 2017/18 after a disappointing first campaign back in the second tier.

Aston Villa's 2016/17 season

League Position: 13th (2015/16: 20th in Premier League, relegated)

Average league attendance: 32,107 (2015/16: 33,690)

Top league goalscorer: Jonathan Kodija (19)

After relegation the previous season hopes were high around Villa Park that The Villains could make an instant return to the top tier. As it turned out that promotion challenge never materialised with Villa finishing the season 18 points outside the Play-Off places.

New owner Tony Xia wasn't shy in splashing the cash during his first season at the club with close to £40 million worth of players being brought in. Ross McCormack arrived from Fulham for £12 million, James Chester cost £9 million from West Bromwich, and Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak was prized away from Selhurst Park for £4 million during the summer. They were joined midway through the season by The Bees' top scorer Scott Hogan and Nottingham Forest's Henri Lansbury among others. 

Roberto Di Matteo oversaw a disappointing start to the season, especially given the firepower at his disposal, and paid with his job after just four months. The Italian, who managed Chelsea to the Champions League title in 2012, recorded just one victory from his 12 games in charge as Villa flirted with the early season relegation places. In his place came Steve Bruce, with the former Birmingham City boss steadying the ship, winning four and drawing three of his first seven games to rekindle promotion hopes.

However, that proved to be the high water mark of Villa's season as a dreadful run of seven defeats in eight to begin 2017 saw them plummit back down the table. Unable to buy a win for two months Bruce's side then embarked on a run of seven wins in eight before an indifferent final six games ensured a disappointing bottom half finish for the Villa Park outfit.

The Ground

Villa Park 
Trinity Road 
B6 6HE

Directions to Villa Park

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.

Last Season

Head to Head

Brentford wins: 1

Draws: 3

Aston Villa wins: 6

Make sure you save on your seats for 2017/18 campaign as Dean Smith and The Bees aim to push higher for a tilt at promotion to the Premier League.

Prices start from as little as £369 adults, £259 seniors, £219 young persons and only £90 for juniors. We’re even giving juniors a free 2017/18 Home Shirt* this time around!

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