Well, we've had our first major schedule change of the 2013-14 season, and it's not one that bodes well for Aston Villa. Due to Chelsea's involvement in the UEFA Super Cup, the early-season affair at Stamford Bridge has been moved from Saturday, August 31 to Wednesday, August 21 at 1945 BST. Keep in mind that Aston Villa's first three matches are against Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea. In the original schedule, that was always going to be a tough stretch. But, the matches were spaced out one per week, giving the club three matches in 15 days.
Now? Villa have those same three matches in eight days, and have to play two in London before they even get to enjoy the comforts of Villa Park. Given the fact that Gabby Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann, and Christian Benteke - among others - have already been injured in preseason training, this doesn't strike me as an optimal situation for the club. The one upside, from the club's perspective, is that they then get three weeks off before their fourth match of the season.
It's hard for me to see this going well. There's a very real chance of an 0-3 start here and then three weeks of dwelling on having zero points. I may be surprised and see Villa take two or even all three matches, but I don't think that's going to happen.
And from a fan's perspective this really stinks as well. Now, instead of three matches and then a weekend off, we've got to cram three matches in a week and then take 2/3 of a month off. Any way you look at this, it stinks. But maybe Villa can surprise us and make it a fun week.