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City, Liverpool begin Sterling transfer saga

50-50 Challenge
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 By Michael Cox

In the Premier League, Aston Villa can't afford to be much worse this season

ESPN FC TV's Craig Burley looks at Aston Villa's prospects for the season ahead.

In the past four seasons Aston Villa have finished 16th, 15th, 15th and 17th; just two, five, five and three points above the relegation zone respectively. Even a minor drop in performance for 2015-16 will surely bring the club's first relegation since 1986/87, which is worrying because Villa start the campaign in a very uncertain state.

That uncertainty applies for both manager and squad. We're now accustomed to Tim Sherwood being one of the Premier League's major characters, yet the reality is...

 By Chris Wright

Aston Villa fan makes 4,000-mile trip to donate season tickets

Prior to his season-ending injury in April, Ciaran Clark had excelled in defence for Villa.
Aston Villa have attracted a far flung fan to Villa Park.

Aston Villa fan Michael Cappuccitti is about to go above and beyond the call of duty ahead of the new season.

Michael, who hails from Toronto, is making the 4,000-mile trip to Villa Park to watch his adopted side's first home game of the season, against Manchester United on Aug. 14.

Before he makes the trip home again after the game, Michael is planning to donate not one but four season tickets to underprivileged local children who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to attend any Villa games this...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa overhaul could make for exciting season

Ghana international Jordan Ayew can play across the front line for Aston Villa and Tim Sherwood.

Count them in -- one, two, three, four new signings confirmed at Villa in the past few days. With the kick-off to the 2015-16 Premier League season now just a week away, Tim Sherwood has been involved in a blur of transfer activity and his squad looks a great deal stronger as a result.

Striker Jordan Ayew was swiftly followed by versatile Spanish defender Jose Angel Crespo, while a frenzied Friday saw Nantes midfielder Jordan Veretout and Blackburn forward Rudy Gestede officially confirmed as arrivals....

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Benteke and Delph departures a cruel blow to Sherwood and Aston Villa

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner says Aston Villa have lost a hugely influential player in Christian Benteke.

Aston Villa will be hoping to avoid another season of relegation scrapping under Tim Sherwood in 2015-16. Here's a look at what to expect from Sherwood's men as we approach the new campaign.

Preview

Sherwood is determined to keep Villa away from the usual relegation battle but the loss of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph is a huge blow to his prospects.

Biggest concern

The current squad just won't be good enough to stay out of yet another relegation struggle, particularly after losing star duo...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Ayew arrives as Sherwood's new-look Aston Villa takes shape

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner weighs in on Christian Benteke's potential role in Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side this season.

Jordan Ayew has made an encouraging start to his Aston Villa career without even kicking a ball. Confirmed as a new signing on Monday afternoon, almost immediately the striker was making claret and blue friends. "It took 10 seconds to work out he was the right coach for me and Aston Villa was the right team for me," said the 23-year-old, reflecting on his first meeting with manager Tim Sherwood and providing a mini-masterclass on how to create the perfect first impression at the same time.

In...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Relief for Villa faithful after nonstop Benteke transfer talk

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the players brought in during the transfer window will help his Anfield side rebound from a poor 2014-15 season.

The struggle to keep hold of a star player wears everyone down eventually, and with Christian Benteke finally now moving to Liverpool, there are feelings of regret, but also relief.

For two of the past three summers, Villa fans have lived through near constant speculation about the Belgian striker's future; it was kept off the agenda in 2014 probably only because he was recovering from his ruptured Achilles tendon and therefore was effectively off the market. Since before May's FA Cup Final,...