Aston Villa have finally added a friendly that will draw fans to Villa Park to their preseason schedule. Serie A side Parma, who finished sixth in that league last season, will visit Birmingham on August 9 for Villa's final tune-up before the new season begins. It is the only match on the preseason fixture list likely to inspire much joy from fans, but in reality that's what preseason fixtures are for: being boring tune-ups.
In addition to being a big name, Parma should be a fun club to watch, too. They've got some pretty decent build-up play and feature Antonio Cassano (though who knows if he'll still be with the club by then). Parma may be fresh in your mind as the last Serie A team to qualify for Europa League play this season. Or they may not be, considering they were denied their UEFA license for failure to pay a tax bill in excess of €300,000. As a result, they will ot be taking part in European competition next season. Let's hope they remember to pay the airfare to get to the match.