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Aston Villa return to Europa Conference League action as they try to get their qualification hopes back on track against Bosnian champions Zrinjski Mostar.
Playing European football for the first time in 13 years and having successfully negotiated Hibernian in the play-off round, Villa’s group stage started in disappointing fashion as they twice came from behind to equalise through Jhon Duran and Lucas Digne away to Legia Warsaw but eventually went down 3-2 in the Polish capital.
That means victory over eight-time Bosnian title winners Zrinjski, who have climbed back to the top of the domestic game since Krunoslav Rendulic took over as manager last November, is a must and Unai Emery’s men are in good form since that defeat in Warsaw.
They have beaten Chelsea and Brighton in the Premier League – the latter in a shock 6-1 thumping at the weekend – and will be heavy favourites to triumph on home turf, although Zrinjski are currently top of Group E after stunningly coming from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AZ Alkmaar 4-3 in their Europa Conference League opener.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the fixture:
When is Aston Villa vs Zrinjski Mostar?
The match kicks off at 8pm BST on Thursday 5 October at Villa Park in Aston, Birmingham.
How can I watch it?
Viewers in the United Kingdom can watch the match live on TNT Sports 2, with coverage on the channel from 7:45pm BST. Subscribers can stream the action via discovery+, which is also available via Amazon Prime.
If you’re travelling abroad and want to watch major sporting events then you might need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN roundup is here to help: get great deals on the best VPNs in the market. Viewers using a VPN need to make sure that they comply with any local regulations where they are and also with the terms of their service provider.
What is the team news?
Villa were hit by the news that Boubacar Kamara, Moussa Diaby and Jacob Ramsey would all miss the match earlier this week, while Alex Moreno is out until after the international break and both Tyrone Mings and Emi Buendia are long-term absentees. Leon Bailey should be back in contention after a thigh strain, however.
Krunoslav Rendulic normally favours a 4-3-3 formation with Tomislav Kis and Nemanja Bilbija in contention to lead the line and Zvonimir Kozulj pushing for a start after scoring twice in Zrinjski’s remarkable comeback against AZ last month.
Aston Villa: Olsen; Cash, Konsa, Lenglet, Digne; Luiz, Tielemans; Traore, McGinn, Zaniolo; Duran
Zrinjski Mostar: Maric; Corluka, Jakovljevic, Radic, Memija; Ivancic, Balic, Kozulj; Cuze, Kis, Ticinovic
Aston Villa win 1/10
Zrinjski Mostar win 30/1
Get the latest football odds here
Villa to build on their impressive Premier League form and get their qualification hopes back on track. Aston Villa 4-1 Zrinjski Mostar