The Preview Professor takes a look at the two teams ahead of tonight’s game.
Aston Villa toddler Andreas Weimann returns to the side for tonight’s game after deciding to give himself a few ‘snow days’. He had no opportunity to build any snowmen though. He’s been a feeling a bit under the weather. Bless.
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Nathan Baker (hamstring) and Ashley Westwood (cup-tied) will be excused the humiliation should their side be knocked out of the cup by a team a full 61 places below them in the English system.
The prehistoric Shay Given will be tested to see if he can still move. A positive response will result in him being forced to watch the game from the substitute’s bench. The relative veteran within the Villa squad, 23-year old Fabian Delph, will also undergo tests on his ankle.
Bradford may give a debut to Michael Nelson who they’ve freshly bussed in from Kilmarnock. Striker James Hanson is up for a return after getting over his stubbed toe.
Expect hundreds of clichés to infiltrate the sound-waves tonight. ‘Giant killing’, ‘the underdogs gave 110%’ and ‘magic of the cup’ are all likely to be employed by lazy commentators and journalists in the upcoming hours. But regardless of what happens on the pitch tonight the true winner will be football.
Football is a funny old game and in what is certain to be a game of two halves, both sides will be fully aware of the fact that there are no easy games at this stage of the cup. It is sure to be a great advert for the game.
Villa will be relying on their striker, Christian Benteke, who has great feet for a big lad, to power them into the final. They’ve been struggling in the league but will be hoping to draw on the inspiration of the Villa side of 1994, who beat second tier Tranmere by coming back from a 3-1 deficit. One problem will be that the current team and the team of 1994 have very little in common aside from sharing a name and stadium.
Bradford will be looking to focus on Villa’s failure to score in more than one of their last six Premier League home games. They certainly won’t be wanting to focus on their own form. They’ve won just one point from four games since Boxing Day.
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