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Match preview: Middlesbrough Play-Off semi-final second leg game pack

#SittingWithXia: Meet the Chairman at huge Play-Off second leg encounter Villa v Middlesbrough: Ticket collection advice
Match preview: Middlesbrough Play-Off semi-final second leg game pack

Game details 

Match: Villa v Middlesbrough
Date: Tuesday 15th May 2018  
Competition: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off semi-final second leg
Venue: Villa Park    
Kick-off: 7.45pm  


Team news 

Ahmed Elmohamady is the only fresh doubt for Steve Bruce ahead of our biggest game of the season on Tuesday.

The right-back pulled a hamstring late in the first leg at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, and is unlikely to recover in time for the decider.

That means we're likely to see either Neil Taylor return to the fold and Alan Hutton shift to right-back, or James Bree to come in and Hutton remain on the left.

Axel Tuanzebe is not in contention and is still missing with a hamstring injury.

Bruce admitted in his press conference on Monday that he's unlikely to make wholesale changes for the game at Villa Park, and expects opposite number Tony Pulis to be the same.


Ticket latest 

Every single ticket to see our huge second leg clash with Middlesbrough has been sold!

If you are collecting tickets, please be sure to arrive at least one hour before kick-off as the Ticket Office will be extremely busy. There is an unprecedented volume of collections expected and we want to avoid long queues or anyone potentially missing the pre-match display and beginning of the game.

There is a limited amount of hospitality still available, which is now the only way to now be here for the game. To enquire, call 0333 323 1982 (option 1).

In the event that we progress to the final, ticket information will be released shortly after the semi-final has concluded.

Thank you for your fantastic support. Make it count!


Dugout analysis 

Steve Bruce

"There's no doubt we have a small advantage and that we're pleased. But that's all it is.

"The one thing we're going to have to do is play as well tomorrow as we did at the Riverside.

"On the big stage, with big questions asked – can we perform?

"We certainly rose to the occasion on Saturday. We'll need to again tonight.It's why you play the game – for the big occasions.

"My advice has always been put your boots on, show up and enjoy the challenge. Have no regrets. 

"Saturday, to a man, we were terrific. We need to repeat it and show the same hunger and desire."


Tony Pulis

"We're pleased and we're ready to go. 

"The players were in yesterday and we had a talk about the game. Villa have got the upper hand, they're going to be favourites and we recognise that.

"The players are looking forward to the game already. There wasn't any pressure on us at all on Saturday and the mindset for us going into tomorrow is to dust ourselves down, clear our minds and give it our best shot tomorrow night.

"We've got to be focused, we've got to understand what we are, what we want to achieve. Everyone goes into the Play-Off with a 25 per cent chance of winning and a 50 per cent of winning if you win the first leg."


Special pre-match display

Make sure you're in your seat early for tonight's massive game. 

To play your part in creating an epic atmosphere, bring back your claret #PartOfThePride flags you will have picked up against either Wolves, Cardiff, Leeds or Derby.

We'll also be handing out more around the concourses on a first come first served basis. 

If you haven't got a flag, bring your claret and blue scarves, hats, shirts or anything else to help push us to Wembley! 


We've got a Fun Zone on for tonight's special occasion!

Normally, we don't run it for midweek games, but we want to make it a night to remember for Villans of all ages.

Open from 5.45pm the Fun Zone in the Academy Building will have all the usual fun family activities, including coaching from our Football Development team, face painting, a DJ, giant football darts, a laser tag game and much more.

You can also get prepared for the match with the Villa News & Record, the official matchday programme.  


Sam Johnstone is our final cover star of the season, and they'll be available from kiosks around the ground.

Our friendly mascots Hercules, Bella and Chip will also be on hand around the ground and pitchside pre-match to entertain our junior fans. 

Cub Members wishing to collect gifts, hoody’s and jackets are available in all sizes apart from the 9-10 age hoody. Collect from the Villa Village reception from 5.30pm.

Stay off the pitch, please

The Sky Bet Championship Play-Off semi-final is finely poised heading into Tuesday’s second leg – and we’re calling on our supporters to stay off the pitch at all times in the vital decider against Middlesbrough.

We appreciate the game will be a cauldron of emotion throughout the 90 minutes but we’re urging our fans to respect the ground regulations and consider the potential wider consequences of such action to themselves and Aston Villa.

Please remember that those who encroach on the pitch risk banning orders as well as a criminal conviction, while the club itself could also face significant penalties as a result.

You’ve been amazing all season - home and away - and we kindly ask for your support in this matter and request that you remain in the stands at all times. 

Stadium Car Parks 

On matchdays, our stadium car parks have a large number of pedestrians passing through them, as well as the vehicles that need to be parked. 

The priority of our operation is to ensure the safety of everyone here at Villa Park. 

We are undertaking a process of improving our current arrangements for vehicle parking and pedestrian safety and over the coming weeks you will notice changes in how we operate, including how we park cars on your arrival. 

We ask for your cooperation and continued support to help us implement these new operations. 

In order to keep everyone safe:  

  • All car park passes must be visible at all times 
  • Speed restrictions are in place – please adhere to the speed limits 
  • Please follow the direction of stewards to parking areas. We will direct you to your parking space  
  • CCTV is in operation  
  • Please be aware of pedestrians and children at all times 

Parking is available for Villa Village visitors for up to 30 minutes in an allocated bay up to three hours before kick-off 

Thank you in anticipation for your support – enjoy the match!  

Also, make sure you check out our Ground Regulations.

Safety and Security

Three points isn't the only priority for Villa v Middlesbrough.

Making sure everyone goes home safe is the most important result.  

We have been working closely with the police and the EFL, over the summer, to review security at Villa Park.  

Now we are asking you to do your bit.  

Stadium managers from clubs have been briefed by counter terrorism police.  

It is vital that everyone - players, staff and supporters - remain vigilant and report any concerns to stewards or police.  

Attacks might be rare, and the chance of you being caught up in one unlikely, but the message is #ActionCountersTerrorism.  

Here's a quick reminder of what you can do to help keep yourself and others safe:   

  • Arrive early, allowing more time for security checks 
  • Minimise what you carry, fewer bag searches will speed up entry to the ground 
  • Be vigilant at all times and if you see anything suspicious, tell a steward right away 
  • If you see anything that could pose an immediate threat to safety, call 999 
  • In an emergency, listen to the Public Address instructions and follow them 
  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately, do not wait around to film events on your mobile 
  • Move right away from the stadium as quickly as possible for your safety and to allow clear access for any emergency vehicles 

Once you are safe, follow the local police force on Twitter for updates. 

AVTV Splash Page - Snodgrass

Live coverage

AVTV Live audio is available for the Boro game.

If you’re abroad or in the UK & Ireland, you can listen to audio commentary of the match.

Unfortunately, due to selection for broadcast by Sky Sports, we are unable to stream video of the semi-final second leg.

You can subscribe now for AVTV Live.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 15th May 2018