Four games in just over a week and a half is no easy task for any team but the way in which Villa have performed in the first three has made many people stand up and realise that we are a much improved outfit than this time last term. An historic win against Arsenal at The Emirates was followed by a brilliant performance at Stamford Bridge and another battling performance at home to Liverpool. Therefore, a home tie against Rotherham should be no problem for Lambert’s lions, surely?
So far this season, this young emerging Villa side has produced displays which would suggest that they are capable of not only beating teams but beating them comfortably too. So what better time to do this than against League One opposition in Rotherham United? Would anything other than a comfortable victory be acceptable or at this stage is it all about just being in the hat for the next round?
Villa are expected to make wholesale changes ahead of the visit of The Millers this evening. Without a league game at the weekend and a further two weeks off after that due to internationals, this is a chance for some of the fringe players in the squad to state their cases as to why they should be in the manager’s plans for the next league game against Newcastle. The likes of Steer, Bennett, Herd, Sylla, Tonev, Gardner, Bowery and Helenius will all be keen to ensure that Villa’s passage to the third round is secured. The only players who are set not to feature at all are Antonio Luna, Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark, who are all nursing injuries and are not likely to be considered for this second round tie.
Rotherham come in to this game confident that they can record a famous victory, with their manager, Steve Evans, bigging up their chances during his press conferences earlier in the week. He is quoted as saying: “We have better players, a better system, better everything. I believe it can happen. But we have to have a top, top night.”
Rotherham have started well in their first season in League One: with three draws and a win from their opening four games, they will come to Villa Park in high spirits and confident that they can deliver the upset that their manager is confident they can achieve.
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Venue: Villa Park
Tickets: North Stand and Family Stand: £10 [adults] and £5 [U16s], Holte End: £12 [adults] and £5 [U16s], Trinity Road and Doug Ellis: £15 [adults] and £5 [U16s].
Referee: Simon Hooper
Last outing: Rotherham 0-2 Aston Villa – March 1972
Stats ahead of the big match:
- Villa have not played Rotherham United since March 1972, with Villa winning 2-0 in Division 3.
- Rotherham won the last time the two teams met at Villa Park, securing a 2-1 victory in October 1971.
- Villa have won 7 of their last 8 league cup ties at home – only losing to Bolton (2-0) under Alex Mcleish
- Rotherham haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last 8 league cup games.
- These two sides played in the first ever League Cup final, with Villa emerging triumphant (3-2) over two legs.