Let’s be honest here this is the game that both clubs wanted. Aston Villa face lower league opposition and lets face it with no disrespect intended a game that should be won over two legs. Then you have Bradford – against the Premierships whipping boys and based on their performances this season anything is possible.
Regardless of how positive the Villa fans appear to be manager Paul Lambert summed it up perfectly in yesterdays press conference by stating “We haven’t achieved anything yet – you don’t get anything for a semi-final.”
The last time Villa reached the hallow turf at Wembley was when we was beaten by Chelsea in that season that sore us visit Wembley twice in one season under O’Neill. The bad thing is we lost both.
Paul Lambert’s men started this years campaign away at Champions Manchester City where a brace from Gabby Agbonlahor ensured a 4-2 victory after extra time. Swindon away awaited the Claret and Blue army and Paolo Di Canio’s men gave them a run for their money but Villa came out victorious with a 3-2 win.
Next up was Christ Hughton and his Norwich side that hadn’t lost a game in 10 including wins over both Arsenal and Manchester United. Brett Holman, Christian Benteke and a double from Andreas Weimann sore Villa smash the Canaries on their own turf with a 4-1 victory.
Bradford last reached Wembley way back in 1911 when they beat Newcastle to win the FA Cup. On top of that, in case you don’t already know they have already knocked out both Wigan Athletic and Arsenal to reach this stage.
The run has probably secured the Bantams financial future with both Semi-Finals being televised it will bring in at least £1million keeping the administrators at bay.
Being an Aston Villa fan I will take nothing for granted and despite what happens tonight we must remember the game is played over two legs, but a win tonight wouldn’t half help things along wouldn’t it?
Bradford City: Boss Phil Parkinson could re-call Carl McHugh who has been struggling with a calf injury while there are question marks over left-back James Meredith who is hoping to overcome illness.
Tom Naylor has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Aston Villa: Marc Albrighton is Paul Lambert’s only fresh injury problem after he picked up a foot injury in the 2-1 victory over Ipswich the weekend.
Ashley Westwood, Richard Dunne and Ron Vlaar are all still casualties while Karim El Ahmadi is on African Nations duty with Morocco.
- This will be the 39th meeting between the two clubs with Villa beating Bradford last time out 3-0 back in 2001.
- Aston Villa have won both previous League Cup meetings with the most recent game finishing 7-1.
- This is the first time Bradford City have reached this stage of the competition in their history.
- This is the 14th time Villa have took part in the Semi-Finals of this competition. They have never progressed to the final when they have failed to win in the first leg (D2 L3)