Aston Villa vs Hibernian odds and betting statistics
Aston Villa vs Hibernian recommended bets
Aston Villa vs Hibernian match preview
Last Wednesday’s much-anticipated first leg at Easter Road was a rather one-sided affair, making this return meeting in Birmingham a mere formality.
Aston Villa ran out 5-0 winners in Edinburgh, with Ollie Watkins bagging a half an hour hat-trick, while Leon Bailey was also on target, before Douglas Luiz completed the rout from the penalty spot.
Watkins is only the fourth Villa player to score a hat-trick in European competition, after Gary Shaw (vs Dinamo București, 1982), Peter Withe (vs Vitória de Guimarães, 1983) and Stan Collymore (vs Strømsgodset, 1998).
Assuming they don’t collapse here, Unai Emery will have now won 24 consecutive two-legged ties in Europa-based competitions, making his team amongst the favourites to go all the way in this competition.
On Sunday, the Claret and Blue Army had another victory to celebrate, defeating Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor, with Matty Cash bagging a first career brace, before Moussa Diaby sealed the win.
This forthcoming Sunday, Villa will be at Anfield so, ahead of that tough test, they’ll be hoping to book their place in the group stages in an uneventful manner.
Hibernian meantime ousted both Inter Club d’Escaldes and Luzern to set up this glamour tie, but it’s not been a very good few days in Leith.
On Saturday, Hibs were beaten 3-2 by Livingston, meaning they’re still yet to get off the mark after three Scottish Premiership games, with manager Lee Johnson sacked the following morning.
2016 Scottish Cup Final hero David Gray is in caretaker charge for this one, and the weekend trip to Aberdeen, simply seeking to stop the rot and avoid another hammering in this second leg.
Hibs’ biggest two-legged European defeat is 9-0, hammered by Malmö in 2013, while Aston Villa’s most emphatic victory came en route to European Cup glory in 1981/82, demolishing Valur Reykjavík 7-0.
It’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that both of those records will be broke at Villa Park.
Aston Villa team news
Given that they’re 5-0 up, and with that aforementioned trip to Liverpool to come on Sunday, it’s safe to assume Unai Emery will heavily rotate.
Emi Martínez went off injured at Easter Road so, just as he did in the second half, and then at Turf Moor on Sunday, Robin Olsen will deputise in goal.
New signing Nicolò Zaniolo made his Villa debut at the weekend, and is likely to start this time.
Calum Chambers, Youri Tielemans and Jhon Durán, who scored in their last home game against Everton, are other prime candidates to be rotated in.
Álex Moreno is still sidelined, while Tyrone Mings and Emi Buendía are also out with more long-term issues.
Meantime, Philippe Coutinho also isn’t likely to feature, as he edges closer to a move to Al-Duhail in Qatar.
Predicted XI: (4-3-3): Olsen; Cash, Chambers, Torres, Digne; Tielemans, Zaniolo, McGinn; Traoré, Durán, Bailey.
Hibernian team news
In contrast, Hibernian are expected to put out their strongest available XI, aiming to restore pride if nothing else.
Winger Élie Youan and Martin Boyle were excellent in Luzern a fortnight ago, but showed very little of that in the first leg of this tie.
Lewis Stevenson will make his 569th appearance for the club, only Gordon Smith, Arthur Duncan and Pat Stanton have played more times for Hibernian.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Marshall; Miller, Fish, Hanlon, Obita; Newell, Campbell, Stevenson; Boyle, Youan, Vente.