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“Dark Horse” Villa Round Up As We Go 2-0 Up Against Valencia

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It has been a busy few days for Aston Villa as plans for the coming 2023/24 Premier League campaign (with an added European adventure) continue to take shape, and amidst all of the transfer speculation, there is some real news to consider.

Having secured a 3-3 all draw with Brentford, this week saw Villa face off against Lazio at the Bescot Stadium, and as fans know we took a very comfortable 3-0 victory over the Italian Serie A side. Goals from Ollie Watkins (who also missed a penalty), John McGinn and a Seb Revan created own goal took us to another pre season win and we really didn’t seem under much pressure against last season’s runners up – although naturally they had their moments.

Aston Villa:

Olsen, Chambers, Konsa (Mings 45), Pau Torres (Cash 45), Digne (Revan 70), Kamara (Luiz 45), Tielemans (Kellyman 70), Bailey (Philogene 45), Buendia (Coutinho 45), Diaby (McGinn 45), Watkins (Archer 45).

Unused subs: Martinez, Zych.

We are of course, in action again tonight against Valencia in our final pre season game, before it’s then all eyes to the big kick off against Newcastle United this coming Saturday.

In other news, Finn Azaz will be looking to continue his own fantastic development in the last few years, with another loan spell back out with Plymouth Argyle. The 22 year old caused quite a stir at Home Park in the 2022/23 campaign (having previously impressed at Newport County on another loan spell) and having more than played his part in securing them promotion into the Championship, he tests himself at a totally new level for the next season – he has also signed a new, undisclosed contract.

If he has the same impact this season, he could well be in first team contention in 12 months time.

On a transfer front, we seem to be quite heavily linked with a move for relegated Leeds United player Tyler Adams. The United States international is said to have a release fee of £25 million.

Whatever the truth of this speculation, it seemed to excite Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards who told the Transfer Gossip Daily podcast that he felt it would be an incredible deal for Villa to pull off as he expects us to kick on even further in the year ahead.

“Leeds are in an unfortunate position with the relegation release clause for Adams. He equipped himself really well last season in a poor team. You can understand why he would want to go. He is a US international and does not want to be playing in the Championship. This would be a really smart bit of business for Villa, who are my dark horses next season.”

Right, I’m back to the Valencia game and we are 1-0 up thanks to a solid first half performance and a 22nd minute goal from Ollie – no, actually make that 2-0 as Emi Buendia has just stroked a second in after some lovely build up play.

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  • Andy5759 says:

    Dark horses? Not from where I’m sitting. My Arsenal friends, well people I know who support Arsenal, truly believe it will all end in tears for us. The silly sausages just can’t face the possibility that they lost one of the best coaches and tacticians on the planet. Well, he’s here with us and on a mission. I just checked in the mirror and there’s a great big cheesey grin all over my face. Bring it on, good times ahead.

    • Mike Field says:

      Flew under the radar for so long last season, the ‘dark horses’ crack came from a pundit I read a few days ago and it struck me that the media were now slowly starting to pay attention.

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