Groan - Villa v Liverpool Changed
Aston Villa's opening weekend clash with Liverpool will be the first Premier League clash ever screened by Setanta.
The upcoming season marks the first time that Sky have lost their monopoly over top-level league fixtures since the Premier League was created in 1992, thanks to the much-derided European Commission.
The clash with Liverpool, who finished third behind Chelsea and champions Manchester United last season, was originally scheduled to kick-off at 3pm on Saturday, August 11 at Villa Park, but will now instead take place at 5.15pm instead.
While some fans will complain a further watering down of the traditional 3pm kick-offs on Saturday, those watching the action from afar will have a good chance to watch Martin O'Neill's players launch their attack on a European place - between the start of the season and the end of November, Villa will be shown live four times on Sky and four times on Setanta.
One of those games is the trip to city 'rivals' Birmingham on November 11 and while last season's top-four have been favoured by the television executives yet again, the new deal does seem to offer a glimpse of some light at the end of the tunnel.
Whatever happens on August 11, hopefully Villa Park will be full so that those watching at home will know that we are serious about challenging for honours. And a win against Liverpool would go some way to convincing others that we could qualify for the Champions League - though the UEFA Cup would be fine this season!
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