Santa Claus may very well be coming to town, but Marcelo Bielsa has to hit Villa Park a few days before big red can get over and deploy his drop of festive gifts. Villa fans will be hoping that it is them, and not the loyal horde of Leeds United fans descending on Birmingham, that enter Christmas Day with 3 points in the bag.
It’ll be a stern test, as Dean Smith is very much one of many disciples of Bielsa dotted around the world of football - but it’s Smith side who are the more aggressive, with Bielsa’s side a total-defensive unit that win the ball back and hunt it down as a team. They are hard to break down and hard to contain. It will be a stern test as two sides with almost identical styles lock horns.
It’ll be tough for Villa, but if they want to talk the talk and walk the walk, they’ll need a good result today.
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We’re here. Kick-off commences soon, and you can find out how to watch Villa vs Leeds United below.
TV & Streaming
Location: Villa Park, Birmingham, England
Kick-off time: 13.30 UK, 8.30 Eastern, 5.30 Pacific
Weather: 7c in Aston, and it is wet.
Open Match Thread: Join in the comments below! Predictions welcome.
Available TV: Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, VIASPORT 2 in Norway, VIAFREE in Sweden and TV3MAX in Denmark, BeIN Sports 2 in Australia & many Asian countries, sSportsLive in China
Available video streaming: AVTV for International Plus viewers, ESPN Plus in the USA, DAZN in Canada and Italy, BeIN Sports Connect in Australia, Now TV and Sky Go in the UK and Ireland, VIAPLAY in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
Other listings are available from livesoccertv.com.
Available radio: TalkSport 2, BBC WM 95.6 FM (not online), AVTV (If audio doesn’t work, try using Safari).
Injuries & Suspensions
Aston Villa will miss Jack Grealish, Mile Jedinak and Henri Lansbury
Aston Villa squad
Today’s starting XI for the big match at Villa Park: Nyland, Chester, Whelan, McGinn, Bolasie, Hourihane, Bree, Abraham, Hutton, Kodjia, and Elmohamady.— 7500 to Holte (@7500toHolte) December 23, 2018