By Amir Mir

Fan favourite Jordan Amavi was selected in the Aston Villa squad for their pre-season friendly against Premier League outfit Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon.

Left-back Amavi is a popular figure among Villa supporters as a result of his fine performances at the start of the 2015-16 Premier League season, before a serious knee injury cut his season short last November.

He made a return to first-team training earlier on this summer, but manager Roberto Di Matteo did not want to risk the youngster aggravating his injury. His official return will thrill fans ahead of a tough Championship campaign.

Here is the Official Villa Twitter account showing Amavi’s name on the bench.

Villa fans will be now hoping he can get enough minutes under his belt to be fit and ready for the forthcoming Championship season, with Villa set to kick off against Sheffield Wednesday on 7 August.

Di Matteo will be hoping to maintain his unbeaten record during pre-season. At half-time Villa were winning 1-0 in their final game of the summer, before a visit to Hillsborough to kick-off their Championship season.

In other Aston Villa team news, manager Roberto Di Matteo insists star striker is staying and confirms he has no release clause.