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

20:30 TODAY SS1

Barcelona v Real Madrid

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Real Madrid have kept clean sheets in all of their eight Copa del Rey matches this season
Expert verdict
Cristiano Ronaldo's hamstring injury is worse than first though but the Portuguese's probable absence may not prevent Real Madrid from beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final. Real have lots to look forward to after reaching the Champions League semi-finals while Barca were beaten by Granada on Saturday and suffered European elimination last week.

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