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Preview: Minnesota United hosts Aston Villa in friendly

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The Loons face off with the English Premier League side tonight at 7 PM.

July 13, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - International friendly opponents, Aston Villa, were in attendance to take in the Minnesota United vs FC Dallas match at Allianz Field.
July 13, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - International friendly opponents, Aston Villa, were in attendance to take in the Minnesota United vs FC Dallas match at Allianz Field.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Minnesota United kicks off a friendly tonight against the newly promoted Aston Villa.

The game starts at 7:00p and can be streamed through the club’s website.

Aston Villa traveled over the pond and has practiced at the National Sports Center, preparing for a difficult season ahead in the top flight.

Aston Villa finished fifth in the Championship and won the playoff to earn promotion in late May. The team has bolstered its squad, preparing for the higher level of play, with eight signings this offseason, including, most recently, the acquisition of Björn Engels.

For the Loons, this friendly comes in a busy and productive July. Minnesota United has won their last seven games and has jumped to fourth in the Western Conference standings. With yet another important MLS game on Saturday against Real Salt Lake, United’s lineup will sure to be full of youngsters.

It appears Dayne St. Clair is the only loanee still with Madison, with even eighteen-year-old Ally Hamis Ng’anzi with the team. Expect full rotation for the squad, Bobby Shuttleworth is likely to play, as well as Wyatt Omsberg and Collin Martin.

Projected Starting XI (4-3-3), left to right:

Bobby Shuttleworth

Eric Miller, Brent Kallman, Wyatt Omsberg, Carter Manley

Rasmus Schuller, Lawrence Olum, Collin Martin

Miguel Ibarra, Abu Danladi

Mason Toye

What will be interesting is to see if Romain Metanire makes his Minnesota return after playing with Madagascar in the Africa Cup of Nations. Another question mark is Abu Danladi; the friendly tonight gives him a low-stress opportunity to get in some minutes after struggling with continued injuries.

Regardless of the result, getting the youngsters playing time will be helpful for Minnesota. And for Aston Villa, getting some touches in before the, quickly approaching, Premier League season will be extremely productive.

Predictions:

John Stephenson: 3-0 Villa

Eli Hoff: 4-0 Villa

Jacob Schneider: 3-1 Villa

Ashle Norling: 4-1 Villa

Gustavo Navarrete: 3-3 draw

Colin O’Donnell: 7-0 Villa with 2 own goals