Hull City-Aston Villa Preview
Hull City hope to bounce back from a heartbreaking European exit in midweek with victory at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Tigers were within touching distance of qualification to the Europa League group stage on Thursday evening and potential glamour ties against the likes of Inter Milan, Napoli or Sevilla unprecedented in the Yorkshire club's 110-year history.
Hull led Lokeren twice on the night through goals from Robbie Brady as the Tigers sought to extend their first ever foray into continental competition.
However, Jordan Remacle's superb strike into the roof of the net shortly after half-time was enough to take the Belgians through on the away goals rule after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.
"We wanted to be in the group stages and to have a couple of big European nights here," Hull manager Steve Bruce told the official club website. "It's a shame because it would have been a great adventure for everybody concerned.
"If we're honest, we didn't play to the levels I expected. We made far too many mistakes and gave the ball away far too cheaply. Four or five didn't get to the level I'd expect and that is the disappointing thing for me."
Bruce doesn't expect his Tigers to take too much time licking their wounds before they are ready to roar again at Villa Park.
"We'll dust ourselves down and get ready for Sunday at Aston Villa," he added. "We've had a difficult start and we've played four games more than the majority, but we'll get on with it and look to get a result on Sunday."
Villa endured a crushing cup exit of their own on Wednesday, suffering an unexpected 1-0 home loss to third-tier side Leyton Orient in the League Cup.
Like Bruce, Villa manager Paul Lambert is hoping for a good response from his charges on Sunday.
"The important thing is you have to bounce back," Lambert told the official club website. "We have a massive game on Sunday.
"We've made a really good start in the Barclays Premier League. If we can win on Sunday then we take seven points out of nine points. That's your aim."
The stumble against Orient was all the more unexpected after Villa began their league campaign well with victory at Stoke City and a creditable draw against Newcastle United.
Villa fielded seven changes to the side that drew with the Magpies for the visit of Orient and are likely to ring the changes again on Sunday.
Lambert is still without forwards Christian Benteke (calf) and Libor Kozak (leg), but is hopeful midfielder Aly Cissokho (ankle) will be available for selection against the Tigers.
Long-term absentee Robert Snodgrass (knee) is out for Hull, while James Chester is suspended after the defender was shown a red card in the 1-1 draw with Stoke last weekend.
Aston Villa have won five of their six Premier League matches against Hull, with a scoreless draw at the KC Stadium last season the lone exception.
In last term's corresponding fixture Villa secured a 3-1 home win through an Andreas Weimann double and an Ashley Westwood strike. Hull's lone tally was a Jordan Bowery own goal.