By 90Min
June 18, 2019

Following a record breaking end to the season, Aston Villa won promotion back to the Premier League following a 2-1 victory over Derby County in the Championship play-off final.

Ahead of their first campaign back in the top flight for three years, Villa's pre-season will begin in early July, where they will fly to the United States, before facing several lower league sides in preparation for a very difficult opener away at Champions League runners-up Tottenham on 10 August.

It's a real baptism of fire for the club, but it's a challenge that the fans, and manager Dean Smith, will be craving, and the club have made it perfectly clear that Villa are not just in the Premier League to make up the numbers, especially with the likes of Jack Grealish and John McGinn in the side.

Here's an in-depth look at who the Villans will be taking on this season.


Minnesota United

Elsa/GettyImages

Dean Smith's side begin their pre-season campaign against MLS outfit Minnesota United who currently lie sixth in the Western Conference.

Villa chief executive Christian Purslow claimed in an interview shortly after the play-off victory that the club have a good relationship with the American club, and noted that there are many fans based in the US who can now go and see their Premier League side in this friendly.

This will be a tricky fixture for the Birmingham based club, as the Loons will be at an exceptional rate of fitness as they continue to fight for a post-season play-off place.

When Is Kick Off? Thursday 18 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:00 (Local Time)
Where Is it Played? Allianz Field
TV Channel/Live Stream? AVTV

Shrewsbury Town

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Three days after their visit stateside, Villa face opposition closer to home as they take on Sam Ricketts' Shrewsbury Town.

The Shrews finished 18th in League One last season, just two points clear of relegation, but they did enjoy an excellent FA Cup run, eventually losing out to rivals Wolves.

This will be the first meeting of the sides since 1988, but you would imagine it will be a much rested team following Villa's American adventure less than a week earlier.

When Is Kick Off? Sunday 21 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 14:00 (Local Time)
Where Is it Played? Montgomery Waters Meadow
TV Channel/Live Stream? AVTV

Walsall

Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

An annual event in the pre-season calendar, Villa will travel to local rivals Walsall, who were relegated to League Two following a disappointing 22nd place finish in the third tier in the previous campaign.

This will be the first time that manager Dean Smith will face his old side since leaving the Saddlers in 2015 to join Championship side Brentford.

The 48-year-old was a popular figure at the Bescot Stadium, so will be welcomed back with open arms, unlike the travelling Villa fans, who notoriously don't get on with Walsall supporters.

When Is Kick Off? Wednesday 24 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (Local Time)
Where Is it Played? Bescot Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? AVTV

Charlton Athletic

Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

Another side who won a play-off final 2-1 at Wembley in May, Lee Bowyer's Charlton Athletic will host Villa ahead of replacing them in the Championship next season.

The Addicks are still in turmoil, with the current owners seemingly having little interest in being anywhere near the club.

However, Bowyer has agreed a one-year extension at the Valley following a remarkable season which culminated in them beating Sunderland in dramatic circumstances.

When Is Kick Off? Saturday 27 July
What Time Is Kick Off? 15:00
Where Is it Played? The Valley
TV Channel/Live Stream? AVTV

RB Leipzig

Maja Hitij/GettyImages

By far and away Villa's most difficult pre-season game, RB Leipzig will bring a totally different challenge for Smith's men just a week before their Tottenham test.

Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga in the previous campaign, and will again play Champions League next season.

Boasting the likes of German international forward Timo Werner, this will be a fantastic and worthwhile experience for a young squad against one of German football's most controversial, yet strongest sides.

When Is Kick Off? Saturday 3 August
What Time Is Kick Off? 15:30 (Local Time)
Where Is it Played? Red Bull Arena
TV Channel/Stream? AVTV

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)