We already knew about the televised Championship opener and first-round EFL Cup match, but Aston Villa supporters will have yet another confirmed chance to watch their club from the comfort of home in the season’s opening month, as the EFL announced Villa’s trip to Bristol City has been brought forward to Friday 25 August for a 7.45 pm kickoff on Sky Sports.
Lost in the shuffle of Monday’s confirmation of John Terry’s arrival, the change means Villa will play three of their first six competitive matches on television — the Claret and Blues kick off their campaign Saturday 5 August with a 5.30 televised kickoff, then will be back on Sky Sports four days later, travelling to Colchester United for the opening round of the EFL Cup.
With Newcastle United out of the picture, Villa are probably the biggest TV draw in the division — both in the club’s notoriety and the size of its fan base — so we shouldn’t be surprised to see Villa on Sky Sports a lot early in the season. It is unfortunate to see a Friday kickoff, though, as they really aren’t winners for anyone; with a 100-mile journey between Birmingham and Bristol, Villa supporters will be up against the clock trying to make the match if they work a full day that Friday. And for us stateside supporters, we’ll have to find a way to covertly stream the match, lest our bosses discover we aren’t doing much work at all.
We’ll know by the end of next week which Villa matches are selected for coverage in September.