Aston Villa v Cardiff: Preview, bet, team news and banter

The last time we played Cardiff was in the old second division in 1975. I can't say I remember it that well, only being a few months old, but Brian Little scored both in a two-nil win.

That match was at home. The one earlier in the season saw us losing 3-1 away but the thing that some will remember about that season was that we won the League Cup against Norwich after Ray Graydon got the winner.


But that was a long time ago and quite a few things have changed since then. Well, not that much for Cardiff, but they have for us. Since we last played Cardiff, we've won the League Cup four times, the old first division, the European Cup and the European Super Cup. Quite an impressive haul since 1975 wouldn't you say?

But, none of that is going to matter tomorrow night as this is cup football and quite possibly the biggest match of the season for Cardiff and one that they'll be going all out to win.

The cups are never easy and while on paper we should win and I fancy we will so have a tenner on at 4/9 with Paddypower, it isn't for certain.

Early Team News

Chances are quite high that we will see Nigel Reo-Coker play in this match and it really wouldn't surprise me if Martin O'Neill made quite a few changes, not only to rest a few players but also to let a few others have 90 minutes.

Don't be surprised to see Delph start and don't be surprised to see us play 442, which might also provide an opportunity for Milner to get a rest and another chance for us to see Marc Albrighton. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Petrov rested and Beye start, which if it does all go horribly wrong, will have some questioning the seriousness Martin O'Neill gave this tournament, but I think he will be taking it seriously and I think even with quite a few changes, we should have enough to beat Cardiff.

Current Form

Cardiff are having a decent start to the season and currently sit 6th in the league but current form is quite horrible. They have lost and failed to score, in three of their last four matches.

Our form is much better at the moment. We have won our last five league and cup games, and kept three successive clean sheets.

History Books

But, we have been warned and we don't have to go too far back in the record books to know what it is like to play Championship sides in the League Cup (Doncaster in 2005, Leicester in 2007 and QPR last year). I just wonder if the attendance tomorrow will beat the attendance of 32,748 from 1975.