The dates have now been set for the UEFA Cup group stages:
Ajax at Villa Park - October 23
Slavia Prague away - November 6
Zilina at Villa Park - December 4
Hamburg away - December 17
Martin O'Neill told AVTV after the draw:
'We start with Ajax at Villa Park which is real mouth-watering tie. It's then Slavia Prague away, Zilina at home before a tough trip to Hamburg. It's just absolutely brilliant to be part of it all and being back in European competition is fantastic news for the football club. Villa Park could be really rocking against Ajax in that opening game. The key now is that it's a step up in quality. If you look at some of the teams involved - for example AC Milan, Seville, Ajax - these are sides with a real pedigree.'
Adding, 'I said to the backroom staff before the draw that there are 10 or 12 teams still in the competition that could be contesting the Champions League.'
Interesting times, the Ajax game should getting Villa Park rocking!
Aston Villa have a few players out on loan so far this season, so here's an update following on from the last month.
Gordon Cowans' Under 21 side hosted Burnley on Monday at Bodymoor Heath in a friendly.
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
Midfielder Jordan Veretout hasn't just had to adjust to life in a new country, at a new club and with a new language, there was also the small matter...
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