Villa Look to Bounce Back from Playoff Heartbreak
When looking ahead to the new Championship season many people will talk about the teams that have been relegated from the Premier League, or those that have been promoted from League One. However, it is often the case that the team who loses the playoff final at the end of the season before is the most interesting team to watch and that looks to certainly be the case this season.
Aston Villa are without a doubt one of the biggest clubs in the Championship, and came extremely close to getting their promotion back to the Premier League last season. They played very well, but at the final hurdle they just couldn't get past a very impressive Fulham team. After a playoff defeat you learn a lot about the character of players at a club, they have a had a lot of time to think this summer. Will they come back stronger than ever with a determination to succeed and put things right? Or will they struggle to come back from their huge disappointment and ultimately go on to fail to live up to last season?
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While Villa look to have a decent team at the minute, and one that can challenge for promotion, it remains to be seen how many of the players at the club will still be there when the season starts. Jack Grealish and James Chester have both been touted by other teams, and with Aston Villa in a tricky financial position they may not be able to resist and offers that come in close to their current valuations. The loss of these two would obviously be a big blow, and would be something that would force Villa to rethink their targets for this season unless replacements were brought in straight away.
It is not ideal for so many changes to happen during the summer, but this is especially the case when a team has just lost a playoff final. The next few weeks are going to be tough, and we won't have any idea how Villa are going to shape up and perform until the season gets going.
Villa 16/1 to Win the Championship
Aston Villa are priced up at 16/1 with the bookmakers to win the Championship this season. They don't think that looks likely, and if the rumours about players leaving are true then Villa look like settling for a mid-table finish this coming season. Right now the players are at the club and capable of taking them far, but it is expected that some will leave, and leave big holes that may not be filled with the same quality. Fans will be very interested to see how this plays out, but unless something comes out of the blue, it is likely to be a disappointing end to the summer just before the start of the new season for Villa fans.