Hibernian will welcome Aston Villa to Easter Road in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League playoffs on Wednesday.
The hosts booked their place in the playoffs thanks to a 5-3 win on aggregate over Luzern. They secured a 3-1 win in the home leg and maintained their two-goal advantage in the second leg as they were held to a 2-2 draw. They returned to winning ways in their Scottish League Cup match against Raith Rovers with a 2-1 home triumph on Sunday.
The visitors are back in Europe after 13 years, thanks to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League table last season. After a 5-1 drubbing in their league opener against Newcastle United, they bounced back with a 4-0 home win over Everton on Sunday.
John McGinn and Douglas Luiz scored six minutes apart in the first half while Leon Bailey and Jhon Durán added goals in the second half.
Hibernian vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- The two teams will meet for the first time in a competitive match on Wednesday. They last met in an exhibition match in 1887, with Aston Villa, the reigning FA Cup winners recording a 3-0 win over Hibernian, the reigning Scottish Cup winners.
- They met in a friendly game earlier that year, which ended in a 3-3 draw.
- The hosts are unbeaten in their last three games in the Conference League qualifiers, after suffering a defeat in their campaign opener.
- The hosts have won four of their last five home games in all competitions, including friendlies. In their two home games in the Conference League qualifiers, they scored nine goals while conceding just one goal apiece.
Hibernian vs Aston Villa Prediction
The Hibees have enjoyed a good run at home in European qualifiers, going unbeaten in the last seven games, recording five wins. They have scored at least three goals in five games in that period and should be able to find the back of the net with ease. Nonetheless, the visitors are a notch above the previous opponents faced by the hosts in the qualifiers during the unbeaten run.
The Villans will play their first European match in 13 years, so nerves might get the better of them. Unai Emery is a great coach at the helm of affairs for Aston Villa, and his experience in European games will come in handy.
While Hibernian's home advantage should come into play, we expect the visitors to eke out a narrow.
Prediction: Hibernian 1-2 Aston Villa
Hibernian vs Aston Villa Betting Tips
Tip 1: Result - Aston Villa to win
Tip 2: Goals - Over/Under 2.5 Goals - Over 2.5 goals
Tip 3: At least a goal to be scored in the second half - Yes
Tip 4: Ollie Watkins to score or assist any time - Yes