Millwall - Aston Villa Preview: Villans look for FA Cup relief after Capital One Cup heartache
Paul Lambert's side are straight back into cup action after their midweek loss to Bradford City, and face a team with just one win in their previous six Championship outings
By Chris Teale
Smith, Beevers, Shittu, Robinson
Henry, Trotter, Feeney, Taylor
Lowton, Clark, Bennett, Lichaj
Westwood, Bannan, Ireland, Holman
Millwall manager Kenny Jackett should pick a full-strength side for this one as the Lions welcome the struggling Villans to The Den.
Andy Keogh and Darius Henderson should lead the line for the home side, with both impressing in the Championship this season.
Paul Robinson is in line to captain the side, having begun his career with the Lions in 2001 as a trainee.
Aston Villa are struggling with a number of injuries, although goalkeeper Shay Given (hamstring) should be fit for this game after facing Bradford in midweek.
Richard Dunne (groin and hip) is nearing a return, although he is lacking in match fitness so is only likely to make an appearance from the substitutes' bench. Chris Herd (foot) remains out.
However, with Karim El Ahmadi on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Morocco and several players unavailable with various injuries, manager Paul Lambert’s squad is being tested to its limits.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Millwall reached the final of the FA Cup in 2004, where they lost 3-0 to Manchester United.
- The Lions currently lie ninth in the Championship, just five points off the play-offs.
- Millwall reserve goalkeeper, 41-year-old Maik Taylor, has experience of success in cup football having been part of the Birmingham squad that won the Capital One Cup against Arsenal in 2011.
- This is the first time these teams will face each other since 1990, when Aston Villa triumphed 2-0 in the third round of the League Cup at Villa Park.
- The Villans have won the FA Cup on seven occasions, but not since 1957 when they beat Manchester United 2-1 in the final at Wembley.
- Villa Park has hosted more FA Cup semi-finals than any other ground in England; 55.
- Shay Given (pictured) has finished as runner-up in the FA Cup in two consecutive years, as former club Newcastle lost the finals in 1998 and 1999 to Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.
Millwall have a great deal of experience in their defence, with Danny Shittu crucial in the centre if they are to spring a surprise here. The Nigerian has Premier League and international experience and is known for his strength and physical presence, which will be crucial for dealing with the away side’s attacking forays.
For Aston Villa, Brett Holman has looked particularly impressive since joining from AZ Alkmaar in the summer. The Australian has been a creative force despite the club’s disappointing season, and will need to be on top form if his side are to prevail.
This could be a tight game, given Villa’s poor form and their recent aggregate loss to Bradford City in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.
Millwall may fancy an upset here, but their Premier League opponents should have too much for them, despite playing away from home in what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere.
Millwall 1-2 Aston Villa
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Top 3 Predictions
Millwall 1-2 Aston Villa
- 18.02 %
Millwall 0-2 Aston Villa
- 9.46 %
Millwall 1-3 Aston Villa
- 9.46 %
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Jan 26, 2013||Millwall 2 - Aston Villa 1|
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|21||Jordan Nathaniel Bowery||Striker|
Times In SGT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed