Aston Villa Football Club travels to League Two minnows Yeovil Town FC in a Carabao Cup first round match-up.
The EFL Cup returns on Tuesday as almost every single club in England’s second, third, and fourth division face-off in the first round of the 2018/2019 edition. Premier League sides not competing in Europe will enter in the second round (along with Stoke City and Swansea City), while the remaining enter in the third.
Aston Villa, drawn in the South Region, travel to Yeovil Town FC, a League Two side that barely avoided relegation from the Football League just a few months ago. For Steve Bruce & Co., Yeovil provides an opportunity for the peripheral members of the first team a solid run out. Coupled with a smattering of Under-23s and the first round of the Carabao Cup (EFL sponsors) could be a lot of fun.
Nobody that started in Villa’s 3-2 victory over Wigan should be considered, save for maybe Axel Tuanzebe. Key players Jack Grealish, James Chester and John McGinn deserve to be fresh for a much more important league match against Ipswich Town next Saturday.
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Aston Villa Projected XI (4-4-2 Diamond): Moreira; Bree, Elphick, Suliman, Clark; Whelan; Doyle-Hayes, Lansbury; Hourihane; Blackett-Taylor, Hepburn-Murphy.
Substitutes: Bunn, Tuanzebe, De Laet, Clarke, McKirdy, Cox, Knibbs.
Your prediction might be as good as mine. It’s difficult to properly guess how Bruce will line-up Villa with Keinan Davis, Scott Hogan and Callum O’Hare all carrying soft tissue injuries. Alas, we can’t include them here, but they could recover in time for Tuesday.
André Moreira seems a good bet to start after Jed Steer’s departure to Charlton, with Mark Bunn elevated to deputy. James Bree and Mitch Clark take on the fullback roles while Easah Suliman is awarded a start next to Tommy Elphick.
In midfield, neither Conor Hourihane nor Glenn Whelan went the full 90 minutes against Wigan…Jake Doyle-Hayes, 19, is a near-lock to start in whatever formation Bruce utilizes. With the absence of so many forwards 19-year old Harvey Knibbs could make his first team debut at some point in the match.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 @ 7:45 p.m. GMT / 2:45 p.m. EST
WHERE: Huish Park – Yeovil, Somerset, England
TV: U.K. – Sky Sports Main Event / U.S. – ESPN+ ($)
PREDICTION: 4-1 Aston Villa (Hepburn-Murphy x2, Hourihane, Blackett-Taylor)