Capital One Cup: Bradford v Aston Villa match preview
A look ahead tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at the Coral Windows Stadium
League Two side Bradford take on Premier League opposition Aston Villa in the first Capital One Cup semi-final tonight. After a dramatic victory against Arsenal in the last round, Bradford will be going into tonight’s clash full of confidence after knocking out two Premier League teams already in this season's competition.
Kyel Reid and Carl McHugh could return to the Bradford starting line-up as manager Phil Parkinson looks to continue Bradford’s impressive home form which has seen them lose just three of their last 17 games at Valley Parade. Forward James Hanson and defender James Meredith are also doubts for the game.
Paul Lambert’s relegation threatened Villa are hoping to avoid a first-leg upset as they look to book their place to meet either Chelsea or Swansea City in the final. Aston Villa, who knocked Norwich City out in the last round, are making a record-equalling 14th appearance in a League Cup semi-final.
Lambert’s injury worries are easing with Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N'Zogbia all available after featuring in Saturday's FA Cup third round win over Ipswich Town.
Marc Albrighton is out injured, Ashley Westwood is cup tied while Karim El Ahmadi is with Morocco at the African Cup of Nations. Vlaar and Dunne remain long-term injuries for Villa.
KICK-OFF: Tonight, 7.45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Bradford 0-3 Aston Villa, Premiership February 2001
Aston Villa 2-0 Bradford, Premiership September 2000
Bradford 1-1 Aston Villa, Premiership February 2000
This is the first time Bradford have reached the League Cup semi-final in the 53-year history of the competition.
The last fourth-tier club to progress to the semi-final was Paul Lambert’s Wycombe in 2006-07 and the fourth in total.
Bradford have only two clean sheets in their last 13 League Cup ties.
Nahki Wells and Garry Thompson are Bradford’s joint League Cup top scorers, with two goals each.
Aston Villa have won the League Cup on five occasions, the last time in 1996. They last reached the final in 2010, losing controversially 2-1 to Manchester United.
Aston Villa were the first team to win the League Cup back in 1961.
The Villains have reached eight League Cup finals and been involved in 14 semi-finals.
Villa have won both previous League Cup meetings against Bradford. Winning 4-3 in 1961 and 7-1 three years later.
Aston Villa have won all their previous League Cup games against teams from the fourth tier, scoring 95 goals in 27 matches.
Paul Lambert’s men have netted 14 times in four matches in this season’s competition.
Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor lead Villa’s League Cup scoring charts with three goals apiece.
Bradford to win: 4.4
Aston Villa to win: 1.97
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7:45, highlights Wednesday 9pm BBC1 at 11.05.
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