Match Previews

U23 Play-off Final Preview: Aston Villa V Albion

By Kieran Cleeves • 11 May 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s meet Aston Villa in the Premier League 2 Division 2 Play-Off Final at Villa Park tomorrow afternoon, kick-off 12pm.

The Seagulls can reach the top tier of under-23 football with victory over the West Midland club, who finished one place ahead of Simon Rusk’s team in second after 22 league matches.

Albion overcame Middlesbrough at the Amex Stadium in the play-off semi-finals - when Henrik Bjordal’s goal and a brace from Viktor Gyokeres secured a 3-0 victory on the south coast.

The Villans reached the final after a scintillating game at Villa Park against Reading ended 4-3 to the hosts, with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s stoppage-time winner breaking the Royals’ hearts.

Rusk’s side have since won the Parafix Sussex Senior Cup, following a late comeback win against Crawley Town at the Amex, which extended their unbeaten run - within 90 minutes - to 17 games.

A stunning run of form since January lifted the Seagulls up the league table into third position, and Rusk’s team currently sit on 87 goals from 39 matches in all competitions this season.

Gyokeres has found the back of the net in seven consecutive matches for Albion’s under-23s, and the Swede will be looking to extend his impressive goalscoring run on the big stage at Villa Park.

The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur await for Saturday’s Play-Off Final winners, as both clubs look to finish off the season with promotion to the Premier League 2 Division 1.

Albion supporters can follow a live text blog from the game on the Match Centre, with a report being uploaded after the full-time whistle.

Fans are encouraged to make the journey to Villa Park en route to Albion’s first team game at Liverpool on the Sunday - and tickets can be purchased from Villa Park.

Tickets are priced at £4 for adults and £1 for concessions.

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