After a win of huge dimensions on Sunday we now face Villa in the cup of small dimensions. The Capital One Cup, is it a trophy or is it a massive pain in the bum? You could ask the question of the Europa League as well of course. AVB’s answer in the case of the latter appears to be that it’s silverware worth winning, given that then surely he has to take the league cup seriously as well especially as this is probably the competition we’re most likely to be successful in of the four available to us.
AVB’s whingeing about three games in six days will become a tad boring by the end of the season if we meet with the success we’re hoping for. A busy programme? That’s the point of a big squad surely? Having said that, injuries are already chipping away so that the big squad (squad of ‘huge dimensions’?) doesn’t actually seem that big at the moment. Chadli, Lennon, Capoue, Kaboul, Defoe and Rose are definitely out. Three of these were in the side that played against Tromso last week meaning that even the ‘b’ squad needs to be rotated.
One imagines that Holtby, Lamela, Chiriches, Friedel, Naughton and Sandro will all definitely play. Who else? Townsend, Walker and Kane maybe? I think Dawson will be asked to play alongside Chiriches on his debut. There’s also a chance that Soldado might get a go given that he looks like he needs a bit of practice finding the corners rather than the keeper’s legs. (This isn’t having a go at Soldado by the way – I have every faith that he’s going to end up with well over 20 goals this season).
Whatever the line-up it’s going to have a slightly cobbled together look.
One compensation is that Aston Villa have their own problems. Agbonlahor and Benteke are both injured according to physioroom.com meaning that they’re somewhat denuded in attack. They’ve stuttered a little since their opening day win at the Gooners so Lambert will be wanting to keep something back for the weekend when Man City come to town.
Given a battle of strength in depth we should win given the cash we’ve splashed, there would be mitigating circumstances though should the worst happen. This game reminds me a bit of our limp and half-hearted exit from this competition a couple of years ago when we lost to Stoke on penalties, I hope history doesn’t repeat itself this time around and if we put a bit of effort in, there’s no reason why it should.
Jonathan Moss is down to referee. Let’s hope he doesn’t really want to hurt us.
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