Aston Villa v Newcastle: Combined line-ups cost in excess of £150m
Last Updated: 24/09/16 5:58pm
Aston Villa take on Newcastle live on Sky Sports this weekend in a game set to feature the most expensive combined line-ups in Championship history.
Saturday's meeting - live on Sky Sports 1 - it is the first time these two sides have met in a league match outside the top division since 1938 but it's fair to say the spending power of both sides is still more accustom to the Premier League than the second tier.
The spending in the Championship this season has rocketed to record levels with the two recently-relegated teams at the forefront of the major deals - and we've put together two possible starting XIs collectively worth £150m.
Bulked up by the financial advantages of the Premier League and an owner, Tony Xia, with deep pockets, Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo was given the licence to improve the squad and spent £49m in the summer.
Scoring goals was an obvious issue last season as they slipped miserably out of the top flight and Di Matteo has addressed that by bringing in Ross McCormack from Fulham (£12m) and Jonathan Kodjia (£15m) from Bristol City, who, combined, scored 40 goals between them in the Championship last term.
Some defensive steel was also required in the Villa squad and they flashed to cash to sign James Chester from West Brom (£9m), Tommy Elphick from Bournemouth (£3m) and Mile Jedinak (£4m), who was snapped up from Crystal Palace. In total Villa's predicted squad on Saturday will have a whopping total value of £71m.
Newcastle used a different transfer formula to Villa in the summer by funding their lavish spending spree of £55m with the sales of some of their big-name players, including Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum.
A Villa vs Newcastle
September 24, 2016, 5:15pm
In total they recouped £85m, and despite bringing in 11 new players Rafa Benitez's net spend was remarkably £30m in the green.
Fans of other Championship clubs looked on enviously in the summer as Benitez constructed deals to bring in Matt Ritchie from Bournemouth (£12m) and Dwight Gayle from Newcastle (£10m) along with other shrewd purchases.
When you add the new signings into a squad that already contains the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Aleksandar Mitrovic, who cost Newcastle £25m combined, Benitez has a team that, in our formation, collectively costs £79m.
"I think they are little bit more settled than us as a team," Di Matteo said ahead of the showdown.
"But it's probably an even game. We have the home advantage. It's a big game for us and Newcastle. It should make it an exciting match."