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Amid uncertainty, Villa's preseason slate takes shape

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Recently-announced friendlies against Chesterfield and Walsall bring the number of preseason friendlies for Villa to five.

Stiliyan Petrov battles with Claude Gnakpa during a 2011 friendly at the Bank's Stadium between Walsall and Aston Villa.
Stiliyan Petrov battles with Claude Gnakpa during a 2011 friendly at the Bank's Stadium between Walsall and Aston Villa.
Laurence Griffiths

Despite the absence of any news on the ownership front for Aston Villa, the club have recently announced two new friendly matches to bring the club to five confirmed preseason outings.

Yesterday, the club officially announced that Villa will return to the Bank's Stadium on August 5 to play fellow West Midlands club Walsall for the second year running, a friendly which the Claret and Blues won 5-0 last season. The Saddlers are off a mid-table finish in League One and the match will mark the fourth time in five years Villa have made the short journey over to the Black Country.

Then today, the club announced a visit to Jordan Bowery's old stomping grounds as they'll visit Chesterfield on July 30 in what looks to be the first match back from Villa's tour of Texas. The Spireites are fresh off a title-winning campaign in League Two and will be joining Walsall as members of League One next season.

The two preseason outings join the previously-announced preseason friendlies against FC Dallas on July 23 and Houston Dynamo on July 26 in the States and Villa's August 2 trip to the Netherlands to visit Leandro Bacuna's former side, FC Groningen.

Presumably, both the Chesterfield and Groningen friendlies were confirmed as part of Bowery and Bacuna's transfers similarly to how Villa made trips to Crewe Alexandra and Shamrock Rovers last preseason.

It remains to be seen if Aston Villa will add more preseason friendlies, though it would be expected that Villa will do so, having played nine last season including a more-glamourous home friendly against Malaga on the final weekend before the start of the Premier League campaign.