Aston Villa head into the Championship season as favourites, we preview their chances from an opposition perspective.

After a disappointing campaign in the EFL Championship last season, finishing in 13th place with 62 points, Aston Villa will be hoping to live up to the bookies expectations and gain promotion back to the Premier League.

We spoke to Aston Villa blogger Stuart, from avillafan, about their chances.

"I feel quite optimistic. This is the season that Aston Villa must get promoted and there will be no excuses."

"We had a lot of bad blood at the club following the relegation year so last season was always going to be difficult. A whole new team had to be rebuilt. Now if we can add 2-3 quality players (goalkeeper included) we should be set providing the manager can get his tactics right.

"I actually said last summer that we would struggle the first season and walk the league in the second. I hope my prediction is spot on.

When asked which players will be key to a successful season, Stuart said "Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan."

"Goals were a worry for us last season so both of these need to be scoring as many as possible. Keeping Jedinak fit is also a must."

Finally, the key fixture in which The Villans are most looking to is the Second City Derby. "The derbies with Birmingham City. Nothing comes close to this for us."

Will Aston Villa be challenging Boro for promotion to the Premier League? Have your say on the Boro Forum.

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