Fixture changes cause havoc for Aston Villa boss Dean Smith

Dean Smith admits late changes to the Premier League fixture schedule are playing havoc with Villa’s training plans.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

A number of top flight matches have been moved at short notice and Villa are still to receive a confirmed time for their match at Arsenal, currently due to take place on Saturday week.

Premier League clubs will meet today to finalise scheduling for that weekend and whether to stick with its controversial pay-per-view scheme, which has seen supporters asked to pay £14.95 for matches not chosen for live TV broadcast.

Villa’s trip to Leicester City earlier this month was pushed back 24 hours at less than 10 days notice.

Smith, who typically gives his players their training schedule a fortnight in advance, admits planning has become much tougher.

“It does upset things because you want to be planning ahead, you want the players to know what they are doing,” he said. “We still don’t know when the Arsenal game is going to be and that is only two weeks away. It is nice to get plans in place and have an idea of where we are at.”

The match, which has not been chosen for live TV broadadcast by either BT Sport or Sky, is likely to move to Sunday November 8 due to Arsenal’s Europa League commitments but that has not been confirmed.

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