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Aston Villa record signing Ollie Watkins set to make debut against Burton

Brentford v Middlesbrough – Sky Bet Championship – Griffin Park
(Image credit: John Walton)

Aston Villa’s record signing Ollie Watkins could make his debut as the club open their campaign against League One Burton in the Carabao Cup.

Villa are hoping the former Brentford striker can boost their goal output after only securing Premier League survival on the final day of last season.

The 24-year-old, who scored 26 goals last season as the Bees narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight, moved to Villa Park in a reported £28million deal last week.

Watkins scored 26 goals for Brentford last season

Ollie Watkins scored 26 goals for Brentford last season (John Walton/PA)

He will have to wait until next Monday’s clash with Sheffield United to play in the top flight after Villa were not involved in the opening weekend’s action.

That means Tuesday’s televised second-round tie at Burton could be his first chance to line up for Dean Smith’s side.

The club’s other main summer signing, defender Matty Cash, is also in contention.

“We are looking forward to it,” said Smith, who is also reportedly closing in on a £20million deal for Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

“It will be a little bit (strange) but some pre-season games have got us ready for it.

Villa were beaten by Manchester City in last season's Carabao Cup final

Villa were beaten by Manchester City in last season’s Carabao Cup final (John Walton/PA)

“It is an important game. It is our first game, so we want to make sure we get a really positive start and a good performance to take into the Sheffield United game.”

Villa have won the League Cup five times in their history and were runners-up last season.

Smith told Villa TV: “As I’ve said many times before it’s a competition we take seriously.

“We got to the final last season and got beaten narrowly by Manchester City. It is something Aston Villa have got a great tradition in and we will be all out to try to continue that tradition.”

Villa boss Smith is looking forward to the challenge

Villa boss Dean Smith is looking forward to the challenge (Mark Kenton/PA)

Smith is not taking anything for granted against a side that have already played three games in three different competitions this season.

He said: “It is a big challenge. They have done well to get through the first round and they’ve played a few more competitive games than we have.

“Jake Buxton has gone in there and will have ambitions of getting his first cup upset. Hopefully we can put in a really professional performance and stop that.”