Aston Villa travel to Leicester City as they take on the Foxes in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final. With a place at Wembley only 180 minutes away, the team will be hoping to get a big result away from home.
With league form firmly put to one side for a moment, Villa head to Leicester as the underdog despite being one of the in-form teams in the competition, and Dean Smith’s men will know that if they are to have a foothold in the tie then coming away from the King Power Stadium with a result is a must.
Villa, of course, defeated a very young Liverpool team last time out to reach the semi-finals and will be well aware of how much Brendan Rodgers’ team will be a different test altogether.
Leicester have been excellent this season and just looking at the table to see them second only to leaders Liverpool tells you all you need to know.
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The Foxes booked their place in the semi-finals via a penalty shootout after they were held to a 2-2 draw away to Everton in normal time. Leicester surrendered a comfortable 2-0 lead before two late goals saw Everton force a shootout, in which Leicester went on to win 4-2.
Wednesday’s game will mark the second time that the two teams have met in the last 4 weeks after the two went head to head at Villa Park in the league back on January, 8. Villa will be hoping the result is far from the same though as Dean Smith’s men were soundly beaten that day as Leicester took all three points thanks to a 4-1 win.
If there are any positives from that game from a Villa perspective then it’s that they can learn from their mistakes. This was something that Smith focused on as he spoke to with the media ahead of the game. Smith said:
“We’ve got to learn our lessons [from the Premier League defeat]. We were very open in our defending and they counter-attacked very well.
“It’s easy to forget that we had the best chance after 12 minutes and hit the crossbar. All in all, they were better than us at Villa Park and we’ve got to make sure we learn our lessons.
Villa, as we know, will be without Tom Heaton, John McGinn, Wesley, and Jed Steer for the game, while Matthew Targett and Keinan Davis will also not feature at the King Power.
New Signing Danny Drinkwater will also miss the game as he is cup-tied due to already featuring in the tournament in the early stages for Burnley.
Leicester will welcome back striker Jamie Vardy after Rodgers confirmed that he is available again after missing the last three games. Vardy missed the first two games due to a calf injury while the third was due to his wife giving birth to his new baby daughter.
The Foxes will, however, be without Wes Morgan and Daniel Amartey, who have both been ruled out due to groin and ankle injuries respectively.