Aston Villa's Squad for First Leg of Europa League Qualifier Announced

GK: Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, Elliot Parish

DEFENDERS: Eric Lichaj (!), Stephen Warnock, Ciaran Clark, Curtis Davies, Nathan Baker, Habib Beye, Shane Lowry

MIDFIELDERS: Isaiah Osbourne, Nigel Reo-Coker, Barry Bannan, Stewart Downing, Marc Albrighton, Jonathan Hogg

FORWARDS: Emile Heskey, Nathan Delfouneso, Andreas Weimann, James Collins (the other one)

There have already been plenty of cries of displeasure from the Villa faithful over the strength of this squad, but let's be clear; this is a team that should beat Rapid Vienna. I do not mean to discount the Austrian side, as they're certainly not to be trifled with. Young Boys gave Tottenham a lesson in what can happen if you overlook your opponents, after all. But remember, this is a tie that consists of two legs, and if Villa can come away with a goal without letting Rapid put in more than two, they're in good shape.

This is exactly what I would have expected to see and exactly what I hoped to see from this match. Villa have some key injuries at the moment and have to face Newcastle away three days after traveling to Vienna. If Villa find themselves in need of a full-strength performance in the home leg of the tie and turn up with this squad, well, then perhaps there is room for criticism. But for now, I see little cause for concern.

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