European football returns to Villa Park once again.
HŠK Zrinjski Mostar. They’re hardly one of the great European names. In fact, what does anyone know about them? Did you even know they existed until a month ago? Neither did anyone else so it was off to the Great God Wiki to find out something, anything about them. They’re from Bosnia and they play in the Premier League of Bosnia & Herzegovina. They’ve won it eight times in fifteen years. God knows how strong it is but you can only beat what’s in front of you so fair play to them.
They’ve got an Ultras mob who are apparently a bit right-wing, which in Bosnia means more than it does over here. I daresay a few of them will make it to Aston and find that our police are a bit different than they’re used to when it come to things like letting off rockets and setting the ground on fire. They’ve got a manager who looks like he models for Sports Direct in his spare time and a seriously rich Israeli businessman is involved with them.
Another mystery is the sort of team our manager will be putting out. He confounded everyone by going full-strength against Hibs, which worked, then rested a few against Legia Warsaw and Everton, and look what happened there. Losing in Poland means this match is a bit more important than it should have been, so we might see a few more first-teamers than usual. We might also see a few of the returning injuries back on the pitch, although we’ve been saying that for weeks. The prices are more realistic than they were last Wednesday so the gate will be higher and there might be something approaching a Great European Night atmosphere. There’s also going to be a Villa win. That’s one thing to be certain of.