Despite Sunday’s loss to Sheffield Wednesday in the league, the mood in the Villa camp is still positive, as are the fans.
One of the good things about being in the Championship is that you get to see your team play more often because of the fixture list. Following the league game on Sunday, the Villans will travel down to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town, currently plying their trade in League Two, for the first round of the EFL Cup.
Venue: Kenilworth Road
Date: Wednesday 10th August 2016
Live on Sky Sports 1
The only absentee for the home side is defender Dan Potts because of suspension. The young full back was sent off after receiving a second yellow in Luton Town’s last game against Plymouth Argyle at the weekend, in which the Hatters picked up all three points with a comprehensive victory.
Di Matteo can finally boast a fully fit squad this week. Jordan Amavi could be given the opportunity to play this game to build up his fitness, as could dynamic winger Adama Traore.
Roberto Di Matteo has told the press that he intends to ring the changes with his starting line-up tonight so he will make use of his big squad.
There will be some expected absentees, however: Carlos Sanchez has moved to Fiorentina on a season-long loan, while Gabriel Agbonlahor and Joleon Lescott have seemingly been told by the manager that their futures lie elsewhere.
It remains to be seen if Jordan Veretout will play a part in tonight’s game, but it is expected that the team will include youngsters from the reserve squad. The likes of Kevin Toner, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and André Green, among others, will be given the change to impress.
The danger man:
The man the Villans will want to pay close attention to is striker Danny Hylton.
The former Oxford United striker signed for Luton Town a few months ago after having a couple of very good seasons with Oxford, boasting a record of a goal almost every three games (26 goals in 86 appearances). At the weekend, he scored a very impressive brace to help Luton Town beat Plymouth Argyle 3-0. The Villa defenders will have to make sure they don’t give him any chances in the box, as he is decent in the air.
Roberto Di Matteo will be wary of letting his players think that they are in for an easy game. As we all know, cup ties can literally go either way and the differences between the two clubs don’t matter. We’ve seen on numerous occasions how the minnows somehow overcome the overbearing favourites to win games and progress to the next round.
Everyone seemingly loves a giant-killing and beating Aston Villa would probably be seen as a massive one for the Hatters.
I do think that the Villa players are itching to get this season up and running with their first win and this is a great opportunity for them to get Roberto Di Matteo his first competitive win for Villa and install some confidence going into the next league game.