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Aston Villa’s start to the 2020/21 season has seemingly been in a constant state of flux. First, their opening fixture away to Manchester City was postponed and then Villa’s new opening fixture, a week later at home to Sheffield United, was put back a further two days for TV too.
Now comes news of a very late switch to their second league game of the season, which has been put back a day from it’s original 14.00 Sunday 27th September slot, to Monday evening 28th September at 18.00 for Sky Sports broadcast (Villa’s first three fixtures will now be on Sky Sports main channel).
Such a change at late notice would be unthinkable if supporters were to be present, but still it creates an unwelcome precedent even without match-going fans.
Aston Villa’s relegation odds are 7/4, so with them being one of the favourites for the drop – in the eyes of the bookies at least – the good news for Villa is the fixture changes will afford Dean Smith and his coaching staff extra time to prepare for their opening games. After an international break, the extra week will also provide more time to make new signings and bed the likes of Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins into the squad.
Any such advantages will be very welcome by Villa, in a what has been a frantic and unusual preseason.
Opening Fixtures & Transfer Deadlines
- 15: Burton Albion (a) 7.45pm SKY SPORTS
- 21: Sheffield United (h) 6pm SKY SPORTS
- 28: Fulham (a) 6pm SKY SPORTS
- 3: Liverpool (h)
- 5: Transfer Window Closes 11pm
- 16: EFL Trade Transfer Window Closes 5pm
To further help the Villa team prepare for the league season, when it eventually kicks-off, Villa have managed to fit in an additional friendly against Manchester United at Villa Park this Saturday afternoon (there will be an opportunity to watch this for a £5, a charge due to the game also being on MUTV).
Villa will also have the benefit of a League Cup match at Burton Albion on Tuesday 15th September, before the Premier League kicks off for them. With the match coming six days before Villa’s first league game, it will potentially tempt Smith into fielding a strong line-up to get a competitive game under the belts of his new signings.