The Carling Cup semi final match between Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa is going to happen on Tuesday January 5 2010 at Ewood Park, kick-off 20.00 GMT.
Before recent consecutive losses to Premiership juggernauts Liverpool and Arsenal respectively, Aston Villa has been on a tear in domestic play, so much to the point that they climbed as high as 3rd place in the league standings before falling to 6th, where they sit now. While their aspirations for Premiership greatness are still high, they will set their focus on another potential championship Tuesday, which at this point in the season may be a little more realistic. Other than the Intertoto Cup in 2001, Villa has not won a piece of hardware since winning the League Cup in 1996 and will surely be giving it all they got to bring one home to their fans. Aston is happy to welcome back starting XI regulars Gabriel Agbonlahor, Richard Dunne and Stiliyan Petrov, who all missed Saturday’s match against Blackburn to rest assorted nagging injuries. They will however be without the likes of key midfielder James Milner who was unable to train Monday with a foot injury.
Blackburn has not quite had the same sort of success that Aston Villa has been lucky enough to experience this year but that certainly hasn’t stop them from progressing in this year’s edition of the Carling League Cup. Although they haven’t much hardware to show for their 100+ years of existence, the Rovers have had success in the League Cup having won the title in 2002. Forward El-Hadji Diouf will not feature in Tuesday’s fixture as he serves the first of a three game suspension after receiving a red card in Saturday’s match against Villa. The Rovers will, however, welcome back defender Brett Emerton who missed their previous match with a groin injury.
Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers have never faced each other in the League Cup, despite being two of the founding members of the original Football League
In their previous 8 meetings, Aston Villa has won 6 including 3 of 4 at Ewood Park. However, Blackburn’s lone victory of those 8 came this season at home at Ewood Park.
This match will certainly be emotion driven as these trophy hungry clubs gun for a title. Judging by their season thus far, Villa is clearly the superior team. While Blackburn will keep it close in what is sure to be an exciting affair, the combination of Agbonlahor and Ashley Young will prove to be too much for the Rovers.
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