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Meet our League Cup rivals: Aston Villa

By meerna Jul11,2024
Meet our League Cup rivals: Aston Villa

On July 27, Columbus Crew will host English Premier League side Aston Villa FC in the Black & Gold’s Leagues Cup Showcase at Field.

Here’s more information about the Leagues Cup Showcase and the club coming to Columbus from overseas.

About the League Cup Show

Three days after the 2024 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target takes place at Field on July 24, the Crew will host a Premier League club in the first-ever Leagues Cup exhibition match.

This one-time event is unique and possible because Columbus Crew qualified directly for the 2024 League Cup knockout stage after winning the 2023 MLS Cup. With a break between the club’s last MLS match on July 20 and the first cup match, the Black and Golds have the chance to face a club that will be playing in the UEFA Champions League this year.

Not only will this be a chance to see one of England’s best clubs play against the current league champions, but it will also be the first meeting between two historic clubs.

About Aston Villa

Much like Crew was a founding member of the MLS, Villa was a founding member of the Premier League in 1992. However, there are a few years between the clubs’ foundings, as the English club was founded in 1874.

The club, from Birmingham, the second largest city, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and is based at Villa Park. The club has been celebrating its championship title since 1897.

Villa have been an English powerhouse since the club’s foundation, winning seven First Division titles as well as seven FA Cups – the equivalent of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Villa have also won the European Cup and the European Super Cup, securing bragging rights on the continent.

However, the burgundy and blue team have recently been revived to their former glory days as Aston Villa qualified for the Champions League after finishing fourth in the Premier League last season. The competition means more matches, so it makes sense for Villa to try their luck against the MLS champions.

Aston Villa players to watch

Emiliano Martinez

Well, having a World Cup-winning goalkeeper is certainly a flex. Martínez is usually Villa’s number one between the sticks in the Premier League, but his status in the Leagues Cup Showcase is unknown, as the goalkeeper competes in the Copa América final against Argentina.

Ollie Watkins

Watkins played in all but one of Villa’s Premier League matches last season and led the club with 19 goals and 13 assists. Like Martínez, Watkins is playing in the continental tournament as he is representing England at UEFA Euro 2024, where he has just scored the winning goal to secure England’s place in the final.

Leon Bailey

Bailey is a 26-year-old Jamaican attacker who also led Villa to a top-four finish in 2023-24. He has scored 10 goals and provided nine assists in 35 league appearances. Bailey, who previously played for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, has made 30 appearances for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz.

Ian Maatsen

Maatsen may not be a household name, but he will be soon. Earlier this summer, Aston Villa signed the Dutch left-back from Borussia Dortmund for a whopping $48 million. At just 22, he represented the Netherlands at Euro 2024 and will be a regular in Villa’s Premier League and Champions League matches.

Meet the Aston Villa manager

This summer marks the second time Unai Emery has taken charge of Villa at the start of a season. The former Arsenal manager joined Villa in October 2022 and helped his side finish seventh in the Premier League table. The group has of course improved and finished fourth in the 2023-24 season. As well as coaching Villa and Arsenal, the Spaniard has also coached Villareal, Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla, among other teams.

How to secure your place at the League Cup showpiece

Tickets for the Crew-Aston Villa match are still available, but get in quick to see the first meeting between two historic clubs.

By meerna

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