Date: 10th July 2008 at 5:09pm
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It’s friendly preview time! Just when you thought the low quality match day previews had disappeared for an extended rest, I’m back!

Aston Villa have travelled to Switzerland for a couple of pre-season games ahead of their Inter-Toto adventures that are most definitely coming soon.

Villa’s threadbare squad will be added to by the new ginger ninja Steve Sidwell, who’s signing was confirmed mid-way through Thursday afternoon.

It’s Sun, no sea, Salifou and strange quotes galore direct to you with typical Swiss precision Vital Villa!

Vital Quotes:

As you would expect from any manager on the verge of a match against what should be ‘on paper’ considerably weaker opposition, MON the Merciless has coined a cliché in stating that ‘result isn’t important’ as Villa play their first match of the 2008/09 season.

I think you’ll find it will (or should that be FC Wil?( Martin!

Speaking to the Villa boss said:

”I’m not at all worried about the results in Switzerland. It’s about trying to get into a pattern of play again and get a bit of match fitness. That’s why we’ve thrown in the game tonight as well.

‘This trip is all about stepping up our preparations for the return to competitive football.

‘The second game against FC Zurich on Saturday afternoon will be a decent enough test but essentially I see the games as extensions of the training sessions.

‘We’re building up and trying to get ourselves ready for the Inter-Toto Cup the following week.’

Meanwhile FC Wil said:

‘Am Donnerstag kommt es im Bergholz zum Testspiel-Knüller zwischen dem FC Wil und Aston Villa FC aus der englischen Premier League. Am Mittwochabend, 9. Juli, findet im Bergholz ein Vorverkauf für dieses Spiel statt. Gleichzeitig können auch Saisonkarten für die neue Challenge League-Saison erworben werden.’


FC Wil 1900 Team News:

Well, its anyone`s guess to be honest, very little known about FC Wil except for the fact that the majority of the squad know, and may well snigger at the fact that someone paid out a signing on fee for Moustapha Salifou.

Player to watch: Pa Modou Jagne

With a name like that, he has to be good, right?

AVFC Claret & Blues Team News:


Footballers for vacant left-back, right-back and goalkeeper positions.

Must be available at short notice.

Apply to Martin O’Neill, if his voicemail isn’t full, AVFC.

On a serious note, if you believe the hype and the spin, this is a good chance for the 6(!) youngsters to gain some first team experience against Swiss Lower League opposition.

The squad in full:

Taylor, Laursen, Knight, Davies, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Gardner, Young, Agbonlahor, Carew, Harewood, Salifou, Routledge, Osbourne, Maloney, Delfouneso, Williams, Albrighton, Parish, Baker, Stieber.

No place for Gareth Barry, his public comments and scathing attack on Martin O’Neill and the clubs senior management burning just about any claret & blue bridge along his merry way.

Player to watch: Moustapha Salifou

Salifou returns as the prodigal son, the ‘Togolese Zidane’ is very much likely to feature in the match and it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out.

Also look out for any possible appearance from Elliot Parish, and forward Nathan Delfouneso.

Match Facts & Stats

The pre-match music is back, and given the connection between a Villan and FC Wil it could only be one track, enjoy!

  • According to Wikipedia, FC Wil 1900 is a Swiss football club, playing in the town of Wil.

  • If you couldn’t work that bit out, I feel for you!

  • FC Wil finished 7th last season in the Challenge League, effectively the Swiss 2nd Division.

  • Everyone loves a little Swiss lower league, mid-table obscurity in their lives right?

  • The locals believe that estimated population is approx 17,000.

  • is where you need to go to for all you’re Wil-based needs.

  • A big warm welcome to Steve Sidwell as he joins from CSKA Chelski. The ‘ginger Gaz Barry replacement’ will join up with the squad, and may feature in the match against FC Zurich this weekend.

  • …and finally, did you know that in Switzerland, the use of marijuana is legal; however the sale of the drug is not. It’s good to share!
  • Ref Watch:

    I have absolutely no idea, but here’s hoping he keeps everything ticking over like clockwork, and doesn’t end up sending the Villa players cuckoo.

    (These poor jokes have more holes in them than your average block of Swiss Cheese!)

    Match Prediction:

    As I mentioned in the forums a while back, it will be 42-1 to Aston Villa with Salifou scoring 8.

    Next Fixtures:

    Villa face a slightly tougher opposition in Swiss Premier Division side FC Zurich this weekend.