Notts County tonight reap the rewards for their Capital One Cup First Round giant-killing of Huddersfield with a trip to Villa Park.
Tonight’s hosts Aston Villa are coming off two straight Premier League defeats, rebounding from an opening day victory at Bournemouth.
County Manager Ricardo Moniz will be wary of the missed chances that cost his team a first win in three league games on Saturday, but his side is boosted by 19th signing of the Summer Izale McLeod – he goes straight into the matchday squad having been registered in time.
Tim Sherwood appears likely to rest a number of his first team for the game but can still call upon former-Notts loanee Jack Grealish who continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Having competed lately for the Villa under-21 side, Grealish will relish the opportunity to line up against a club where he honed his talents during the 2013/14 season.
Notts will be without the suspended Liam Noble who sits out the first of three games he’ll miss after Saturday’s red card against Accrington Stanley. Curtis Thompson and Kyle De Silva continue their recovery from injury and will miss the game.
Adama Traore could be given his first start for Villa for the game, but Jores Okore and Jose Angel Crespo remain on the sidelines.
These two founding members of the Football League have met 68 times over the years, with Villa’s 36 wins dwarfing Notts’ 16. The two sides have also seen out 16 draws. But the sides haven’t met since an FA Cup replay at Villa Park saw a Dwight Yorke double and a Ugo Ehiogu goal settle the tie in front of 25,000 people.
Ladbrokes have Aston Villa as the favourites tonight at 4/9, with Notts priced at just 6/1 – but supporters will be all too aware of County’s performances on the road at places like Wigan and Sunderland in the past few years. The draw after 90 minutes is at 7/2.
McLeod will shoulder the goalscoring hopes of Notts supporters and is 9/1 to open the scoring – behind as many as 12 Aston Villa players – most notably is Grealish at 6/1, or Traore at 9/2. Former-Aston Villa academy graduate is 12/1 to carry on the weekend’s goalscoring form at his former stomping ground.
Notts to pinch a 2-0 victory is 40/1 too.
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