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Rapid Preview: Aston Villa v Rapid Vienna, Leg Two

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Nathan Delfouneso needs to play and he needs to score. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Nathan Delfouneso needs to play and he needs to score. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
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Not much new to add for this preview; you saw the teams a week ago, and the smart money is betting that you'll see similar lineups for each. It is worth noting that Richard Dunne is expected to miss the game with a back injury, while Carlos Cuellar is expected to be fit and ready. Carlos isn't Richard Dunne, but he's not Habib Beye either and it will be good to see him back in action for Villa. It will be interesting to see whether Kevin MacDonald chooses to go full-strength this time around or whether Sunday's embarrassment sees him rest key players and if so, which key players those might be.

I'm personally hoping to see Stephen Ireland playing in a more offensive role with two defensively-minded central midfielders behind him, but if the plan for league play is to slot him alongside Petrov then we shall see. I don't think winning this tie will require Villa to use all of the weapons in their arsenal and I would hope that MacDonald doesn't panic. Villa are the better club, playing at home with an away goal in their pocket. I'd love to see a similar mix of youth and experience and for Villa to come out playing aggressively at the start. Nathan Delfouneso needs to play.

Villa need to come out with guns blazing in this one, and dare I say it I think scoring early is almost a necessity. There's the chance that a strong performance can restore some much-needed confidence, while a struggle could have a snowball effect. Whether you care about Europa or not, I think you'd have to agree that a win here could be quite important to the psyche of the team.