Aston Villa started pre-season preparation with a 4-0 win over Walsall at Banks’s Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Ollie Watkins scored two goals as club record champions Emi Buendia set up both Villa’s goals in the first half before a brand new eleven took on the field in the second period.

Youngsters Aaron Ramsey and Jaden Philogene-Bidace scored their own goals while Dean Smith watched the game from home while self-isolating with his family.

Several members of Smith’s squad – including England internationals Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish – have yet to return to the club’s training base after participating in Euro 2020 or Copa America this summer.

While England fell short of European glory at Wembley, Villas goalkeeper Emi Martinez will return to Bodymoor Heath as South American champions after Argentina beat Brazil earlier this month.

Video is loading

Video not available

Click to play
Touch to play

The video will soon start playing automatically8thCancel

Play Now

However, Douglas Luiz, who made two appearances for Brazil in the Copa America, will miss most of Villa’s prep plan as he will also represent his nation in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

With Villa planning to finish in the top six in the league next season, strong preparation is a must. The club skipped a short trip to Europe to round off their preparations for the new Premier League campaign amid uncertainty about the pandemic, the reason to stay at Bodymoor Heath all July.

After their sovereign win at Banks’s Stadium, Villa will now travel to the bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City before taking on Bristol City and Nottingham Forest before the end of the month. A conspicuous duel against La Liga club Sevilla awaits you too.

Seville finished fourth in the top division of Spain last season, secured a place in the UEFA Champions League again this season, won the Europa League in four of the last eight years and then played in four Super Cup finals.

Here are all the details you will need for Aston Villa’s preseason friendlies …

Walsall (A)

Walsall 0-4 Aston Villa

Villa’s first of five pre-season friendlies this summer made new signing Buendia shine on his first appearance, while Ashley Young played in burgundy and blue for the first time in over 10 years.

Ollie Watkins’ double was enough to put Villa in control before the break, as Buendia made both assists for the club’s top scorer last season.

A complete roster change was made at halftime by Villas’ boss of the night, Craig Shakespeare, and teenagers Aaron Ramsey and Philogene-Bidace rounded off a perfect way to kick off the pre-season at Walsall.

Continue reading
Continue reading

City of Stoke (A)

Saturday, July 24th, 3:00 p.m., bet365 Stadium

Nottingham Forest (H – Bodymoor Heath)

Wednesday, July 28th, 1:00 p.m., Bodymoor Heide He

Bristol City (A)

Saturday, July 31st, 1:00 p.m., Ashton Gate

Seville (H)

Saturday, August 7th, 3:00 p.m., Villa Park

Would you like an exclusive pre-season preview of Aston Villa – both in your inbox and in your mailbox? Stop by here to get your copy!

Continue reading
Continue reading