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23rd Jun, 2017 | 2:37pm

Three Aston Villa players that will be fighting for their futures ahead of the new season

COMMENT by Amir Mir

The Championship fixtures for the 2017/18 season were announced on Wednesday with Aston Villa hosting recently-relegated Hull City on home soil.

It is going to be a massive season for everyone associated with the club because owner Tony Xia has set a minimum target of promotion.

Here, Football Insider analyses which three players will be under the most pressure to perform for their futures.

Gabby Agbonlahor – The 30-year-old was brought back from the cold by manager Steve Bruce in October. He took a long time to settle in, scoring his one and only goal against bitter rivals Birmingham City. However, the forthcoming campaign will be a big test for the striker, who will be expected to deliver the goods. Failure to do so could result in him leaving the club next summer.

Gary Gardner – Another Villa academy product who will be disappointed with last season’s performances. Midfielder Gardner simply couldn’t put in the performances Villa fans desperately want him to deliver.  He needs to add more goals or assists to his locker if he is to make an impact next term.

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Alan Hutton – On the defensive front, Hutton was consistent and reliable for his side, but it was the attacking part of his game that let him down. The right-back, who has one year left to run on his current deal, is a popular figure amongst the fans. With teenager James Bree waiting on the sidelines and only one season left on his contract, a poor season could result in Hutton walking through the exit doors.

In other Aston Villa news, Tim Sherwood has backed John Terry to join the club.

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