Villa V Leicester Preview
Aston Villa continue their ‘road to Wembley’ with a cliché filled ‘potential banana skin.’ Leicester City are tonights opponents.
The usual questions have been pitched at O’Neill with it being a past employer, he has focused more on the show of sportsmanship displayed by Nottingham Forest in the previous round, and the job at hand, ensuring that Villa progress into the 4th round. There was also time to hint that there may be some degree of squad rotation may be employed this evening.
Speaking to avfc.co.uk O’Neill said: 'It is up to us now. We are at home, obviously, and it will be a test. I would be hoping that we would be good enough, and that's why we won't change things around just for the sake of it.
'But I am mindful of the fact that we have got the squad and some players who I feel would really benefit from the game. But more important, that this is a big game for them to stake their claim for a place.
So far there’s been very little from the Leicester camp about the Carling Cup match, so here’s a lesson in supporter relations delivered by The Foxes chairman Milan Mandaric. Similar to those chants heard at Old Trafford at the weekend, Leicester fans were chanting the name of their former manager during their last fixtures, something that annoyed the man who’s gone through almost as many managers as Doug Ellis!
“If you are one of those fans, who would rather sing for Martin Allen than Leicester City, come and see me.
'Please, come down to the Walkers Stadium at 7pm on Thursday and tell me why you sang it. I will meet you face-to-face and I will listen to what you have to say. Then I will tell you why I think you were wrong.”
Aston Villa Team News:
Villa look set to make a number of changes to the side that defeated Everton on Sunday afternoon.
With John Carew out of action due to knee ligament damage, Martin O’Neill must decide as to whether he replaces The Incredible Hulk with The Incredible Sulk, Shaun Maloney, or Marlon “handbags” Harewood.
Adding to the injury woes, Freddie Bouma is very likely not to feature, with Irish International Stephen O'Halloran a likely replacement.
One player definitely set to feature is Curtis Davies, O'Neill saying: 'Curtis will definitely play on Wednesday and there will be a couple of other changes. I want Curtis to play. He has sat there on the bench for a couple of games; he has had a look at it.'
Isaiah Osbourne and Patrick Berger may also feature with the latter now recovering from yet another injury.
Player to watch: Gabby Agbonlahor
With two goals in two home matches, Gabriel Agbonlahor is definitely the one to watch. I still remain doubtful that he’s in the right profession, with the Beijing Olympics more than 6 months away there is still time for him to sneak into the 100m sprint event surely?
Anyway, he is doing the business at the moment and so far has proved me wrong, will Gabby continue to do so?
Leicester City Team News:
Leicester City have their own injury troubles, with striker Elvis Hammond likely to miss out on the game. There is no confirmation of reports that the reason for injury is down to being “all shook up.”
Portuguese winger Julio Marco Ferreira limped out of a reserve team match for Leicester, and is doubtful as he’s done some damage to his hamstring.
Player to watch: DJ Campbell
The former Birmingham City (booo) striker has scored 2 goals in 4 league starts and from last season’s antics is a clear goal scoring threat that we'll have to watch out for.
That said, he was awful in the Premier League so with a bit of luck shouldn't pose too much of a risk.
Famous last words?
The referee for tonight’s match is Mr L. Mason who resides in Lancashire. A card happy ref, dishing out 21 yellow cards in 6 games, though no reds just yet. The last time he was in charge of a Villa match, he booked Carew and Petrov as Villa drew 0-0 with Liverpool at Villa Park in March of this year.
We're going goal crazy, honest! Mystic Mug isn't around today so it's a case of less-than-mystic murph. 4-1 Villa is my random prediction.
No weekend football for Villa see's the next fixture the trip to London for some Monday night football.
Spurs are the next opponents on Monday 1st October.