After a pitiful performance against the Black Cats last weekend, we now turn our attention to the FA Cup, a competiton we enter at the third round stage.
The Villans have progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup in six of the last seven seasons and, having gone fifteen matches in all competitions without a win, last season’s finalists will be hoping to turn the tide at Adams Park this afternoon, where they face Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe Wanderers of League Two. The Chairboys progressed to the third round after beating Millwall 1-2 last month.
The game could prove to be a welcome distraction from the Villans’ poor league performances and could potentially enliven the sleepwalking Villans.
Venue: Adams Park
Date: Saturday 9th January 2016
Kick-off: 12:45p.m. (Live on BT Sport 1HD)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Away tickets: Sold out
The Villans will be without Adama Traoré, who has been ruled out for eight to ten weeks with a broken bone in his foot. The Barcelona youngster limped off after coming on in the second half at the Stadium of Light and, a few days later, scans revealed a small fracture in one of the bones in his foot. The injury couldn’t come at worse time, as the right winger was thought to being very close to pushing his way into Rémi Garde’s starting XI and would undoubtedly have started this game if fit.
Alan Hutton and Carlos Sánchez will both miss out today with hamstring injuries, although Garde confirmed that Sánchez isn’t too far from full fitness.
Villa will welcome back influential striker Jordan Ayew, who unfortunately missed the last game through suspension after picking up too many bookings.
Ashley Westwood will also make his return following suspension and could very well be in the starting XI at Adams Park.
The hosts will welcome back striker Paul Hayes, who has been declared fit after an ankle injury.
Midfielder Marcus Bean will also return after recovering from a niggling ankle injury.
Goalkeeper Matt Ingram is suspended after being sent off against Morecambe last Saturday.
The danger men:
Striker Garry Thompson will be the man to look out for. Despite being thirty-five, he remains Wycombe Wanderers’ danger man. They will look to the get the ball up front to him as soon as possible so our defenders will need to be wary of Thompson, who has scored six goals in the league so far.
Defender Michael Harriman has bagged five goals in the league so the visitors will have to be attentive to his threat from set pieces.
The Chairboys’ form has, in general, been decent, as shown in their last five games: L W W W D.
Their home form, however, seems to be more conservative. They’ve managed two wins in their last five home games, drawing two and losing one (L W W D D).
Aston Villa’s form, as we all know, has been terrible, but the away side will definitely be looking for the win here. The Villa boys have drawn two and lost three of their last five away games in the league (L L D D L).
The last time these two sides met was in a pre-season friendly in 2013. They played out a decent 2-2 draw, with Matt Lowton and Ashley Westwood getting the goals for Aston Villa.
The last time Wycombe Wanderers met Aston Villa competitively was in the second round of the League Cup back in September 2005. It was undoubtedly one of the most thrilling games of the season. The Villans started off extremely poorly and found themselves 3-1 down at half time. However, after the break, the Lions roared back and smashed in seven goals in the second half to finish the game 3-8, leaving the Wycombe shell shocked. A repeat of this this afternoon would certainly be appreciated! UTV!