Aston Villa travel to Poland this week, where they will face Legia Warsaw on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa Conference League. The visitors are the clear favourites going into the tie and they will be desperate to start their European journey with a victory.
Legia are the only side in the Ekstraklasa to have not lost a game after six league fixtures, as they have won four and drew two. The sides biggest strength is their defending and they boast an average goals conceded per game of 0.5, which is impressive in any league. However, their recent qualifying matches against FC Midtjylland has proved that they can be breached with ease if pressured, with the aggregate scoreline ending 4-4.
Czech Republic international, Tomas Pekhart, is Legia’s main goal scorer and therefore the biggest threat to Aston Villa. The 34-year-old has scored four times in the league and netted in their latest European game; his experience up front will be needed if Kosta Runjaic’s side are to get anything out of the game. Another player that could have an impact is Gil Dias, who has recently joined on loan from Stuttgart. The Portuguese attacker has shown glimpses of quality in limited game time over the past few seasons and he will look to combine with Pekhart.
Unai Emery will be confident that his side can pick up three points on Thursday and after this weekend’s dramatic 3-1 comeback victory against Crystal Palace, the side will be full of confidence. Villa have won three out of their five Premier League matches so far and they have mastered the art of winning against teams that in theory, they should beat, which puts them in a great position for Thursday night.
It is difficult to write about Villa without mentioning the incredible attacking duo of Ollie Watkins and Moussa Diaby who have ran riot at times this season. Their pace, energy and skill combined with a high work rate has been difficult to compete against and the Legia backline will be in for a tough evening on Thursday.
Although Legia Warsaw isn’t an easy place to visit, Aston Villa have more than enough experience and quality to win the tie. Emery will create a plan that gets the best out of his side and they should be quite comfortable.
The final prediction is Legia Warsaw 0-2 Aston Villa.