Aston Villa Football Club was formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham. The four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villa’s first match was against the local Aston Brook St Mary’s Rugby team. As a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules After moving to the Wellington Road ground in 1876, Villa soon established themselves as one of the best teams in the Midlands, winning their first honour, the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1880, under the captaincy of Scotsman George Ramsay.
They have played at their home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa was one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992. Villa are one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup, in 1981–82. They have also won the Football League First Division seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once.
Villa has a fierce local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the teams has been played since 1879. The club’s traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and sky blue socks. Their traditional club badge is of a rampant lion. The club is currently owned by the NSWE group, a company owned by the Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and the American billionaire Wes Edens.
Wembley is considered to be the spiritual home of English football, but Villa Park is a close second. Aston Villa’s home since 1897, the ground sits in the shadow of the Jacobean stately home Aston Hall and has evolved over the years into a magnificent all-seated arena with a capacity of more than 42,000. Villa’s home ground is no stranger to major events, either, having hosted matches at both the 1966 World Cup and the European Championships in 1996. It is one of a select few that has staged international fixtures over three different centuries, the first senior international taking place in 1899. In addition, it was a regular venue for FA Cup semi-finals before they were moved to Wembley. Villa Park also hosted the last-ever European Cup Winners’ Cup Final between Italian side Lazio and Spanish club Real Mallorca in 1999, as well as the 2012 FA Community Shield match when Chelsea faced Manchester City.
|Arsenal v Aston Villa EPL Home Games|
Villa has only beaten Arsenal away on six occasions in the Premier League and it’s difficult to predict that trend changing, although they have been playing some nice football this season – including inflicting Liverpool with a 7-2 thrashing at Villa Park.
|Arsenal v Aston Villa Home Games|
TA Predicted Line-up: 3-4-3 and probably Mikel’s strongest-11
COME ON YOU RIP-ROARING GUNNERS