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Match Previews

Match Preview: Aston Villa

All the info ahead of Saturday's trip to the West Midlands

8 September 2017

Aston Villa v Brentford, Villa Park, 3pm in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Opposition

Aston Villa are in their second consecutive season in the Sky Bet Championship after finishing 13th in last season's competition. By January this year, Villa were in reasonable shape before a run of seven defeats in nine saw them looking down instead of up. A better March and April followed, dragging them into mid-table.

So far this season, Villa have only won one of their five league games. The 4-2 victory was recorded against Norwich City at Villa Park and so far they remain unbeaten at home, having drawn their opening day match there with Hull City.

The Villans are also in the same stage of the EFL Cup as Brentford, all set to play Middlesbrough in the Third Round on 19 September. They overcame Colchester United 2-1 at the start of August before beating Wigan Athletic 4-1 a few weeks later.

Their summer transfer window saw the introduction of Chelsea captain John Terry for free, as well as fellow defender and former Blackburn Rovers centre-back Chris Samba. Villa also added experience in Ahmed Elmohamady from Hull City and Glenn Whelan from Stoke City.

Sam Johnstone [Manchester United], Josh Onomah [Tottenham Hotspur] and Robert Snodgrass [West Ham United] were all signed on loan deals from Premier League clubs.

The Manager

Former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce took charge of Villa in October 2016 and is coming up on one year in charge of the claret and blue team.

Winning trophies as a player, he was a commanding centre-back for teams that also included Norwich City, Birmingham City and Sheffield United.

Since retiring from football in 1999, Bruce has had four major roles in football management aside from Villa. His first was a six-year spell at Birmingham, during which time he got them promoted to the Premier League. Next saw jobs at Wigan Athletic and Sunderland before he had a four-year stay at Hull City.

Pre-match Thoughts

Dean Smith: 'I’ve been happy with the performances but not happy with the points return'

John Egan: 'These are games you've got to relish'

Match Coverage

Mark Burridge will bring you live audio coverage from 2.30pm at Villa Park on iFollow, alongside guests Simon Webster and Mick Cabble.

Download the Official Brentford FC App to get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views and reaction from the game.

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