Graham Taylor Tribute Match
Villa’s final preseason game of the season sees Watford visit Villa Park to honour Graham Taylor, who sadly passed away at the beginning of the year on the 12th of January.
Taylor had two spells as manager at both clubs. He essentially defined Watford football club of the modern age, while rescuing Villa within a season and regenerating the club, after they were relegated five years after being European Champions.
28 Nov 2015, the date you pretty much knew that Villa were going down from the Premier League. A 3-2 loss, with Blues fan Troy Deeney’s header, after a Hutton o.g., putting the game out of Villa’s reach. It was Villa’s 11th defeat in their first 14 Premier League games of the season.
They had equalled the league record for the lowest points tally after 14 matches of a season.
The corresponded fixture was also a 3-2 win for the Hornets, making it the first time ever that one team had doubled the other in a season.
Games between the two have been infrequent, apart from the period starting off in 1982, when Villa were European Champions and took on Graham Taylor’s newly-promoted Watford team. The Watford boss would impressively lead his team to the runners-up spot at the end of the 1982/82 season.
Villa and Watford would then play each other regularly until Villa were relegated in 1987.
Ironically, Villa’s relegation, it could be argued, worked out worse for Watford. They lost their star manager, as Taylor joined Villa to lead their promotion charge and transform the club.
Villa went up, Watford went down, and the two teams have only played in the same division in three seasons since.
ASTON VILLA VS WATFORD
Kick-off 3.00pm -Villa Park
Villa Team Line-up
Steer, Hutton, Terry, Chester, Taylor, Lansbury, Whelan, Green, Elmohamady, Grealish, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Bacuna, Hogan, Hourihane, Bree, Bjarnason, Amavi, Samba.
Gomes (GK) (c); Cathcart, Kabasele, Kaboul, Mason; Cleverley, Doucouré, Chalobah; Amrabat, Sinclair, Pereyra.
Subs: Pantilimon (GK), Femenía, Prödl, Rowan, Watson, Hughes, Success, Okaka.
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