Express & Star

Aston Villa v Hibernian preview: Ollie Watkins eager to heap more misery on hapless Hibs

Ollie Watkins is eager to dish out further punishment on Hibernian when European football returns to Villa Park tonight.

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Villa’s Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring his hat-trick goal at Easter Road in the first leg against Hibs

Watkins hit a hat-trick on his own European debut as Villa cruised to a 5-0 win in last week’s Europa Conference League play-round first leg, making the return fixture appear little more than a formality for Unai Emery’s team.

But though the Spanish head coach is almost certain to make changes, Watkins hopes he won’t be among those coming out of the starting XI.

The ambitious 27-year-old admits to having been “jealous” of strikers who play in Europe every season and though Villa are due to visit Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, insists the busy schedule does not bother him.

“It’s a schedule I have looked at, seen all the top players play. I was always a bit jealous,” he explained.

“I am in their boots now, being able to play Saturday, Wednesday, Sunday. It is what you get paid to do and I am looking forward to it.