Unusual reason Aston Villa and Hibs to play on Wednesday as ‘John McGinn’ show gets early kick-off time
Aston Villa kick off their Europa Conference League campaign at an unusual time against Hibernian this week.
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Aston Villa make their long-awaited return to European football this week as Unai Emery's side kickstart their Europa Conference League campaign.
Inspired by West Ham success last season, Villa fans will be hoping to move the title from North London to the Midlands come the end of the season and that all starts with a trip to Edinburgh to take on Hibernian this week.
Billed as the 'John McGinn Show' with Villa's experienced midfielder returning to the club where he made 136 appearances, it's set to be a night to remember in Scotland before the return fixture brings Europan football back to Villa Park for the first time in 13 years.
Supporters will have no doubt been surprised by the match being given an early Wednesday kick-off - BiriminghamWorld has all you need to know about the reasoning behind that.
When is Hibernian v Aston Villa?
Aston Villa kick off their Europa Conference League campaign with a trip across the border to Scotland as Hibernian await Unai Emery's side.
The first leg takes place at Easter Road on Wednesday, August 23. The fixture will kick off at the unusual time of 5:45 pm.
Why are Aston Villa playing in the Europa Conference League on a Wednesday?
It's well-known to football fans that Europa League and Europa Conference League matches usually take place on a Thursday night, with Tuesday and Wednesday evenings reserved for Champions League action.
However, Hibernian v Aston Villa has been shunted a day earlier due to an unusual UEFA clash. Hibs explained: “UEFA do not allow Europa Conference League games to take place at the same time as Champions League games.
“5.45pm was the latest kick-off time the club could attain following UEFA regulations. The game will take place on Wednesday because of Hearts’ progression into the same round of the competition.
“When two sides from the same city progress – and both have been drawn at home in the first leg – UEFA use last season’s league table to decide who plays on the Thursday.”
Hearts, who finished two points above Hibs in the Scottish Premiership last season, play PAOK on Wednesday in Edinburgh in their Europa Conference League first leg at Tynecastle Park.
Why does Hibernian v Aston Villa kick off so early?
As well as taking place on Wednesday evening, Aston Villa's return to European action comes at the unusual time at 5:45 pm.
This is again due to UEFA scheduling. There are Champions League play-off matches in Molde v Galatasaray, Braga v Panathinaikos and Maccabi Haifa v Young Boys in the calendar for 8pm on Wednesday. Broadcasting conflicts mean that Aston Villa and Hibernian must therefore finish the match before those kick off.
When is the second leg between Aston Villa and Hibs?
After Wednesday night's meeting, the reserve fixture will take place at Villa Park on Thursday, August 31 with kick-off returning to a more usual time of 8 pm.
It will be the first time the stadium has hosted European football since the 2010 Europa League play-off match with Rapid Vienna, which Villa lost 3-2 in front of nearly 30,000 supporters.