We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park…
Alan Hutton is thrilled by the “mouthwatering” prospect of Aston Villa potentially playing against Hibernian in the Europa Conference League play-off round later this month.
Hibs beat Swiss side Luzerne 3-1 at Easter Road on Thursday night (10 August), meaning that if they can hang onto an aggregate victory in the second leg next week, they’ll be playing Aston Villa in the final qualifying round before the group stages.
It would not only be a big game because it will be England versus Scotland but it will also be big for John McGinn, who spent three years at Hibs before joining Villa in 2018.
Hutton has revealed he sent a message to McGinn as soon as he saw the draw and while Hibernian aren’t through to the play-off round yet, he’s excited by the potential tie.
Speaking to Villa News, Hutton said: “It was good and obviously I texted John McGinn as soon as I saw it.
“He’ll be desperate for that to go back and play there and see all the old faces.
“It’s something he’d love to do but it will be difficult for Hibs.
“If they get through, I think it would be an amazing tie for Hibs to play against Aston Villa and likewise, for the likes of John.
“It’s a mouthwatering tie for some players, especially for those at Hibs.
“That’s what you play for, to play in these meaningful games in European competition. That’s what you strive to get to and it’s a huge opportunity.
“First and foremost, Hibs have a game to play but there’s a wee carrot dangling for them to play a top team.”
Hibs beat Andorran side Inter Club d’Escaldes in the last round of qualifying despite suffering a shock defeat away in the Pyrenees in the first leg.
On Thursday, Joe Newell, Dylan Vente and Jordan Obita all scored in the 3-1 win over Luzern in Edinburgh.
In other Aston Villa news, a big-money bid has been submitted for this Villa Park ace.