Aston Villa-Bradford City Preview: Bantams aim to become first fourth-tier finalist since 1962
Phil Parkinson's side produced a famous 3-1 win at Valley Parade in the first leg, but face an improving Premier League outfit for a place in the Capital One Cup showpiece
By Al Hain-Cole
Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett
Holman, Westwood, Bannan, N'Zogbia,
Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Good
Hines, Jones, Doyle, Atkinson
Aston Villa need goals, so Brett Holman could return in a more attacking line-up than the one that featured at the Hawthorns on Saturday, with Gabriel Agbonlahor continuing to partner Christian Benteke up front.
Fabian Delph (knock) is a doubt for Villa after going off injured against West Brom, with Barry Bannan waiting in the wings should the former Leeds midfielder fail to regain match fitness.
Nathan Baker (leg) was also replaced against the Baggies and is likely to miss out, while Andreas Weimann will hope to recover from the illness that kept him on the sidelines at the weekend.
Phil Parkinson made wholesale changes for last Tuesday's Football League Trophy defeat against Crewe, and those rested for that fixture should return to the line-up for this Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.
New signing Michael Nelson could feature in defence for Bradford, while recent addition Andy Gray is ineligible after appearing for Leeds earlier in the competition.
Top goalscorer James Hanson should return after missing the last two games with a broken toe, while Stephen Darby (foot), Will Atkinson (stomach) and Garry Thompson (knee) are also all in contention.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Aston Villa have not played a Capital One Cup match on home soil since August's opening tie against Tranmere, when they won 3-0.
- Only Arsenal and Liverpool can match the Villans' 14 appearances in Capital One Cup semi-finals.
- Gabriel Agbonlahor (pictured, right) missed the first leg through injury, but has scored five goals in seven matches in this year's competition.
- Paul Lambert's men have only won one of their last eight games, while the visitors have just two wins in their last nine.
- Villa have conceded the second-highest amount of set-piece goals in the Premier League,with all three of Bradford's strikes in the first leg a result of dead ball situations.
- Bradford are aiming to become the first fourth-tier to reach the final of this competition although QPR and Swindon, then of the third tier, have won the trophy in the past.
- The visitors lost 2-0 when they last visited Villa Park 12 years ago - a result that would see the hosts through to the final on this occasion.
- If the Bantams progress against Aston Villa, they will be the first fourth-tier team to knock out three Premier League teams in the same year.
Top 3 Predictions
Aston Villa 2-1 Bradford
- 13.66 %
Aston Villa 2-0 Bradford
- 12.34 %
Aston Villa 3-0 Bradford
- 10.13 %
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||23-Jan-2013||Aston Villa 2 - Bradford 1|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||09-Jan-2013||Bradford 3 - Aston Villa 1|
|02-Mar-2014||Aston Villa 4 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|23-Feb-2014||Newcastle 1 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|12-Feb-2014||Cardiff City 0 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|08-Feb-2014||Aston Villa 0 - West Ham 2||EPL|
|01-Feb-2014||Everton 2 - Aston Villa 1||EPL|