For some it was a day of excitement as the new season’s fixtures were announced, but for other Villa supporters it was the sad confirmation, in black and white, that their club were now a Championship outfit. Instead of browsing through the list to see when Villa would get a crack at the likes of Liverpool, United and Arsenal, it’s trips to Rotherham, Huddersfield and Burton instead.
There would certainly be more optimism and enthusiasm for the task ahead, if Villa had a new team in place. I wouldn’t go and waste money on last year’s shower against anybody.
Hopefully, by the time Villa’s preseason fixtures are done and dusted, Roberto Di Matteo will have a fresh-looking team together to attack the Championship.
Villa kick off with a decent first game at Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. I still remember going there on the first day of the season for Big Ron Atkinson’s first game in charge, which turned out to be one of the most memorable away days in recent decades.
After the trip to Hillsborough, Villa will travel to Luton for the first round of the League Cup. Yes, ladies and gentleman, the first round, it’s been a long time since the club has started in that round. How the mighty fall.
A good start will be important to galvanize the Villa fanbase to the task in hand of instant promotion. If a decent team has been assembled in time, apart from the tricky opener and a tough-looking game away against Derby, you’d expect Villa to be up there amongst the front-runners, in the early part of the season.
April of Hell
The first second city derby arrives on October 29th at St Andrew, although that maybe subject to television changes. The return Villa Park clash comes on the 22nd April in the final run in. It will be one of a staggering seven games in April (maybe eight, if Villa make the semi-finals of the FA Cup 😉 ).
That April fixture pile-up shows you how hard it’s going to be to win the title or get promoted, it’s like the Grand National of title races.
The Christmas period brings up a yin and yang Villa Park double of Burton on Boxing Day and Leeds on New Year’s Eve.
If there’s any grumble to be had about the fixture list is it would have been nice to have switched the dates of the games against Brighton. A trip to Brighton in late November, doesn’t quite have the same appeal as going there on a sunny May day.
Still, finishing the season at Villa Park against Brighton could be a good way to celebrate the title, or at least promotion. Here’s hoping. UTV.
ASTON VILLA CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES 2016/17
07/08/2016 16:30 Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa
TBC – ELC Luton Town vs Aston Villa
13/08/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Rotherham United
16/08/2016 19:45 Aston Villa v Huddersfield Town
20/08/2016 15:00 Derby County v Aston Villa
27/08/2016 15:00 Bristol City v Aston Villa
10/09/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
13/09/2016 19:45 Aston Villa v Brentford
17/09/2016 15:00 Ipswich Town v Aston Villa
24/09/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Newcastle United
27/09/2016 19:45 Barnsley v Aston Villa
01/10/2016 15:00 Preston North End v Aston Villa
15/10/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Wolverhampton
18/10/2016 20:00 Reading v Aston Villa
22/10/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Fulham
29/10/2016 15:00 Birmingham City v Aston Villa
05/11/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Blackburn Rovers
19/11/2016 15:00 Brighton v Aston Villa
26/11/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Cardiff City
03/12/2016 15:00 Leeds United v Aston Villa
10/12/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic
13/12/2016 19:45 Norwich City v Aston Villa
17/12/2016 15:00 Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa
26/12/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Burton Albion
31/12/2016 15:00 Aston Villa v Leeds United
02/01/2017 15:00 Cardiff City v Aston Villa
14/01/2017 15:00 Wolverhampton v Aston Villa
21/01/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Preston North End
28/01/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Bristol City
31/01/2017 19:45 Brentford v Aston Villa
04/02/2017 15:00 Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa
11/02/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Ipswich Town
14/02/2017 19:45 Aston Villa v Barnsley
18/02/2017 15:00 Newcastle United v Aston Villa
25/02/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Derby County
04/03/2017 15:00 Rotherham United v Aston Villa
07/03/2017 19:45 Huddersfield Town v Aston Villa
11/03/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Sheffield Wednesday
18/03/2017 15:00 Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa
01/04/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Norwich City
04/04/2017 19:45 Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers
08/04/2017 15:00 Burton Albion v Aston Villa
15/04/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Reading
17/04/2017 15:00 Fulham v Aston Villa
22/04/2017 15:00 Aston Villa v Birmingham City
29/04/2017 15:00 Blackburn Rovers v Aston Villa
07/05/2017 12:00 Aston Villa v Brighton