Young guns set to kick off new campaign with Sporting Lisbon clash
The boys in claret and blue will begin their quest for NextGen Series glory when they battle the Portuguese giants on Wednesday August 15 [kick-off 7pm].
It promises to be a mouth-watering encounter as Villa's stars of the future come up against a club whose academy have produced the likes of Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.
The clash kicks off Villa's participation in Group 4 of the prestigious European U19 tournament, in which they will also play Celtic and PSV Eindhoven.
Teams will face each other on a home and away basis in the group stages, with the other fixture dates and venues to be announced shortly.
Villa enjoyed an impressive run in the inaugural NextGen Series last season, topping a group featuring Ajax, Rosenborg and Fenerbahce before suffering an agonising extra-time defeat to Marseille in the quarter-finals.
Sporting Lisbon were also one of the standout teams in the 2011-12 competition, storming to the top of their group before bowing out in the last eight to eventual winners Inter Milan.
After a successful debut campaign, the NextGen Series has expanded from 16 to 24 teams with more of the continent's elite clubs signing up to take part.
Chelsea and Arsenal are among the new participants, increasing the number of English sides to six.
German champions Borussia Dortmind will also join the competition along with French side Paris Saint-Germain, Russia's CSKA Moscow, Anderlecht of Belgium, Greek club Olympiacos and Spanish outfit Athletic Bilbao.
Another change from last year's line-up sees Italian giants Juventus replace Swiss club Basel.
Stay tuned to AVFC.co.uk for ticket information for the Sporting Lisbon clash, as well as news of dates for the Celtic and PSV fixtures.
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