Express & Star

Aston Villa v Bournemouth - Match preview

John McGinn says Villa are ready to go “back into the trenches” when they host Bournemouth tomorrow.

Lille's Bafode Diakite, right, and Aston Villa's John McGinn

Unai Emery’s men return to action less than 72 hours after the drama of Thursday’s Europa Conference League victory in Lille, for what will be their seventh match in 23 days since the international break.

It is another hugely important game in the race for fourth place and Champions League football with Villa, who hold a three-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham, playing twice before their rivals are in action again.

McGinn believes his team deserves credit for the way they have coped with a hectic schedule despite a seemingly endless run of injuries. The skipper revealed Leon Bailey had played through the pain barrier on Thursday night in France and while admitting Villa’s performance was below-par, he thinks the manner in which they prevailed on penalties spoke volumes about their fighting spirit. “It says a lot about the character,” he said.