Villa can show Arsenal how it's done

IT’S League Cup semi-final first-leg time with Bradford and Aston Villa kicking off the action.

There was surprise to see one manager put out a slightly weakened team at the weekend, desperately trying to keep his powder dry to avoid a real embarrassment at Valley Parade. But enough of Phil Parkinson.

I also clocked that Villa boss Paul Lambert rested a few of his ‘better players’ against Ipswich although it’s not actually easy to define what constitutes a weakened team at Villa Park these days.

That said I’m actually on the Villa bandwagon, a vehicle that can usually be found careering down a cliff edge into an abyss of abject misery. However, the wheels are firmly on here and the only abyss in sight in Yorkshire will be the gulf between these two outfits.

Where Villa have a clear edge is up front with Bent or Benteke to pick from and I’m afraid neither man is in anyway comparable to Gervinho, the Arsenal forward with a hairstyle as shameful as his finishing.

Gervinho put on a masterclass in the art of being a shabby centre-forward on the Gunners’ trip to Valley Parade and let’s face it Bradford supporters have seen their share of dodgy goal-getters down the years. Ian Ormondroyd immediately springs to mind.

Lambert, of course, won’t play Bent and Benteke so I’ll leave first-scorer betting aside, simply back Villa to win to nil and let Arsenal fans gloomily wonder what should have been.

 

Match in Focus

17:30 TODAY SKY

Las Palmas v Alaves

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Las Palmas have not scored more than one goal in any of their last 13 games
Expert verdict
Las Palmas have been in the drop zone since October and their fate will be sealed if they lose at home to Alaves. An 11-match winless run has seen the Canary Islanders' survival hopes recede and the final nail in the coffin could be applied by fellow strugglers Alaves, who have won two of their last three matches

 

Competitions

Whether it's the Johnstone's Paint Trophy or the Champions League, Soccerbase will ensure you don't experience a big cup upset

Teams

Agonising over Aberdeen?
Yearning for Yeovil? Our database is crammed with every football club you could possibly wish for

Players

A plethora of players ranging from Adebayor to Zamora. All you need to know to find out who is the best bet to score next

Referees

Card-happy control freak?
Astute arbiter? Make the right decision on any referee with the help of our specialist pages

Managers

From Allardyce to Zola, our massive manager database, with histories and win ratios, is sure to get your vote of confidence