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Aston Villa welcome Rapid Vienna to Villa Park

Football is football and it doesn't matter, we must win tonight. We can not let the dogs from Vienna leave and Aston Villa not be winners.

A draw is simply out of the question and we must fight tooth and nail for everything so we win and win with a bit of style.

I watched Spurs last night, a team that finished 8th a couple of seasons ago and 11th the season before that, destroy a team last night with some lovely free flowing football and put simply, that is what we need to try and emulate.

We can do it. I've seen it from these players before and I know it is possible, but they have to play with confidence and they have to believe it is possible. I'm not entirely convinced that they do believe it, but I'm sure that is something that is getting worked on.

Early Team News

From what I understand, Gabby, Carlos and Collins are all back in contention but Dunne, Luke Young and Steve Sidwell will all miss out through injury while Downing and Warnock are getting a rest.

Andreas Weimann, the player born in Vienna and who started his career at Vienna and also the player that was getting stuff thrown at him by the Vienna supporters, won't be in the squad tonight as he ruptured the ligaments in his ankle while most probably having a dream come true for him.

So, knowing what we know about player availability, I'm going for a 4-5-1 formation with Gabby up front by himself, Marc Albrighton on the right with Webcam on the left and Reo-Coker, Petrov and Ireland in the middle. The back four will consist of Carlos Cuellar, James Collins, Ciaran Clark and someone else at left back - not sure who yet.

Betting Odds

Thursday news and speculation

Kevin MacDonald, for me anyway, has talked himself out of the job and he has only confirmed what I suspected; Lerner has someone lined up and he knew from day one that he was never going to get it.

If I could just pick a team and then be the invisible man I would be quite happy. I don’t get a buzz from walking up the touchline or the crowd chanting my name. I don’t like the fact that people say nice things about me because somewhere down the line they will say bad things. Premier League managers are very high profile. I don’t want to be high profile, but I’m not saying that would stop me considering the job.

In other news, or actually speculation I guess, Alex McLeish has rejected claims that he is considering the Aston Villa job and we are not selling Emile Heskey to Leicester despite us offering to pay half his wages and help him move.

Aston Villa live

It depends on how things go, but this might be the only post of the day or we might, if things get busy, open up another one of those posts we made last week with a live chat box - only it will be with someone else if we do. So, sing loud and proud and don't forget to take a bone to Villa Park.