Europa League: Duff set to face Russians after £4m move
Thursday 20 August 2009
New Fulham signing Damien Duff is in line to make his debut for the club in tonight's Europa League play-off match with Akmar Perm at Craven Cottage.
The Republic of Ireland international completed his £4m move from Newcastle on Tuesday and is included in Roy Hodgson's squad for the first-leg tie against the Russian side. Midfielder Simon Davies [foot] and defender Toni Kallio [Achilles] are unavailable, with Hodgson hoping to build on Fulham's fine start to the season, which has seen three wins from three games, with no goals conceded.
Aston Villa begin their European campaign away at Rapid Vienna, with striker John Carew included in Martin O'Neill's squad after missing Saturday's defeat to Wigan with a foot injury. Following criticism last season for fielding under-strength sides in the competition, O'Neill has named a full squad for the trip to Austria, with Villa having four days to recover before travelling to Liverpool on Monday.
Captain Stiliyan Petrov does not believe having the second leg at home will necessarily affect the result. "I don't think it matters what order we play the games," the Bulgarian said. "Some teams are better away and it's the other way round for others. We have to have that consistency to get the maximum from the two games.
"All the teams are fit, and prepared, and we will have two difficult games. If we want to go into the group stages, we have to beat them and it doesn't matter what it takes to do that."
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