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Sinclair fires Villa to first preseason win in Amavi debut

Scott Sinclair and Jerell Sellers scored as Aston Villa defeated Swindon Town 2-0 at the County Ground.

David Rogers/Getty Images

Villa won a game! Alright, it was preseason, and it was against Swindon Town, but still, a win is a win!

Tim Sherwood’s side took the lead at the half-hour mark, when Scott Sinclair opened his preseason account by tapping in to a largely empty net. Alan Hutton played in a solid cross that Swindon didn’t deal well with, and Gabby Agbonlahor passed up a shot opportunity to set up Sinclair instead, who made no mistake of the finish.

Micah Richards came close around the hour mark, when he headed off the post, and Villa started to make substitutions to bring on youth, starting with Carles Gil’s exit, who picked up a knock, and running through the rest of the outfielders.

It paid off in the 82nd minute, when Jerell Sellers pressured Swindon’s substitute keeper into a terrible mistake, poking into an empty net.

Anyway, it’s preseason, which means takeaways are more important than results. Here’s a few I had…

  • Jordan Amavi made his Villa debut, and he looked really, really good. Solid first touch, good positional awareness, a keen ability to get forward. It’s easy to see why Tim Sherwood moved for him.
  • It was my first time watching the squad this season, and Carles Gil looked really good. He did, however, hobble off right before the hour mark, so hopefully that isn’t too serious.
  • Sherwood started 11 senior players, and gradually after the 60th minute, started replacing them one by one with youth talent. The XI was as follows…
  • Villa ran with a 4-4-1-1 / 4-2-3-1 again, and this XI probably isn’t too different from the one Sherwood’ll trot out against Bournemouth on the opening day. Get Brad Guzan and Idrissa Gueye into the squad, and that might be all you need to make in terms of changes. Jack Grealish, too.
  • A few of the young guys looked pretty solid; Riccardo Calder looked good in his cameo, and Sellars, of course, notched the goal. There’ll be a few young guys hanging around the first team this year, and those two could be on the list.
  • Scott Sinclair was very good, and not just because of the goal. He got into good positions, had a solid finish, and was involved from start to finish.
  • Most of the XI went 75+ minutes today, which feels kinda significant for the third preseason friendly of the year.
  • Idrissa Gueye wasn’t involved today, as unlike Amavi, he hasn’t had much of a preseason. Expect to see him moving forward, perhaps Saturday at Walsall.
Nevertheless, a good result, and some promising things with the Sinclair/Amavi link down the left side. That could be good for us this year.

Up the Villa!