Semi Ajayi’s Championship club West Bromwich Albion will take on West Midlands rivals Aston Villa at Villa Park in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Saturday afternoon as both clubs prepare for a return to football.
According to Sportsmail both West Brom and Villa will be taking two teams and it may be that two one-hour matches are played, with a staff member refereeing.
It is gathered that the games will be used as a competitive fitness exercise, while Villa may use it as an opportunity to check on the condition of key midfielder John McGinn.
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The Scotland international has not played since damaging ankle ligaments in the 3-1 home defeat by Southampton on December 19 but he is now back in full training.
It is also a chance to test the stadium’s biosecurity process ahead of it staging the first Premier League fixture since the season’s suspension in March when they entertain Sheffield United a week on Wednesday (June 17).
Villa have an urgent need for match sharpness given that game is just 11 days away and will be followed by the visit of Chelsea four days later.
West Brom, meanwhile, are set to resume their promotion push on June 20 when the second tier returns.
They are keen to organise more conventional friendlies after the Villa game and have held talks with Premier League and Championship clubs about doing so.
Sporting director Luke Dowling said: “We will be trying to organise friendlies, either at The Hawthorns or elsewhere. At the very least we will certainly be switching some sessions to the stadium, but friendlies will be very important for the players to get a feel of what a behind-closed-doors match is like.”Copyright © 2023 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.