No sooner did Aston Villa beat Burton Albion, we returned to Premier League action where we were able to see off Sheffield United. Now in what feels like a blink of an eye, we are back in action in the League Cup against Bristol City. It is a sign of the times we are currently living in I guess.
Villa’s main aim seems to be that they don’t get dragged into a relegation battle again this season and rightly so. But nothing beats a good cup run, as we experienced last season only to be beaten in the final against Manchester City so it will be interesting to see how Dean Smith views this competition this year. Last year, Smith opted for a mixture of fringe and first-team players until the latter stages of the competition.
Bristol City have kicked off their own campaign in some form. In four games, two in the League Cup and two in the Championship, they have won all four. That included three clean sheets and ten goals scored. Their new head coach, Dean Holden has them firing following the sacking of Aston Villa obsessed coach, Lee Johnson. Again, just like Villa, it will be interesting to see how serious they take this game.
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Smith is expected to shuffle the back and is set to hand new signing Bertrand Traore his debut. Jed Steer, who turned 28 today (Happy Birthday, Jed) or Orjan Nyland will replace Emi Martinez in goal. The likes of Henri Lansbury, Neil Taylor and Anwar El Ghazi could also feature.
Holden has suggested he will make a host of changes for Bristol City by fielding a very similar side that beat Northampton in Round two. Former Baggies star, Chris Brunt could be handed his debut for the Robins.
Referee: James Linington
Assistants: Daniel Leach & Mark Pottage. Fourth official: Matthew Jones.
DID YOU KNOW
Aston Villa and Bristol City first met in a FA Cup tie dating way back to 1900.
Aston Villa have beat the Robins on twenty-two occasions with Bristol City beating Villa ten times. Twelve games ended in draws.
Both teams have got off to a 100% winning start so far this season although Bristol City have played double the number (four) of games Villa have played. With both sides expected to make a raft of changes, it is very difficult to make any kind of prediction but then what would be the point in this section of the preview?
I will go with a 1-2 Villa win but I wouldn’t be surprised if this one went all the way to penalties.