Major injury blow for Hibs’ Europa opponents as Aston Villa superstar to miss both legs
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Aston Villa are set to be without one of their biggest names for Wednesday’s trip to Easter Road and likely the second leg of the tie at Villa Park on August 31 as well.
Former £105 million Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho was forced off in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Everton and looked to be in severe pain when being carried off the pitch. Villa boss Unai Emery has since revealed that it was a hamstring issue that ended the 31-year old’s match and, although it might not be as serious as it first appeared, he will almost certainly miss both legs of the Europa Conference League play-off round.
After the game, Emery said: “We think it’s not a big injury. I think it’s his hamstring but we have to wait until tomorrow for analysis. Hopefully, in two or three weeks he’ll be available again.”
Despite missing the influence of the former Liverpool midfielder, Villa will still enter the match high in confidence after a resounding victory in their first home match of the Premier League season. Former Hibs favourite John McGinn opened the scoring for his side against Sean Dyche’s Everton and goals from Douglas Luiz, Leon Bailey and Jhon Duran completed the rout.
It was more than enough to lift the Villians off the bottom of the table where they had found themselves after the first round of matches having lost 5-1 to Newcastle United at St James’ Park. This week’s match with Hibs has been moved from the traditional Thursday night slot for Europa League and Europa Conference League ties and will now be played on Wednesday.
That is because Hearts are also due at home to PAOK on Thursday and their tie takes priority because they finished above their city rivals in the Scottish Premiership table last season. Two European matches are not permitted to be played in the same city on the same day by UEFA and the game will also have to kick off at 5:45pm so as not to clash with any Champions League qualifying matches across Europe later in the evening.