MX23RW : Friday, February 7 13:09:39| >> :600:1008313:1008313:
Jan 28, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at ​Villa Park
Attendance: 39,300
Aston Villa
LeicesterLeicester City
Targett (12'), Trezeguet (93')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Iheanacho (72')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Leicester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final between Aston Villa and Leicester City.

Aston Villa and Leicester City square off in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final on Tuesday night with the tie level at 1-1 after the first leg at the King Power Stadium.

After Frederic Guilbert had given Villa a first-half lead, Kelechi Iheanacho came off the substitutes' bench to equalise for the Foxes.

Match preview

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured in December 2019© Reuters

Having been involved in 12 matches since the middle of December, Brendan Rodgers has had to make full use of his Leicester squad in order to maintain their ambitions in the Premier League and the two cup competitions.

Despite the high workload, Rodgers will welcome every opportunity to take this developing team forward, with an appearance in a cup final high on his list of priorities.

While Saturday's narrow win over Brentford has earned the club a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup, Rodgers would have had one eye on the reverse fixture with Villa after failing to make the most of home advantage two weeks ago.

During that game, there was a feeling that Leicester had begun to lose their edge, a suggestion which was backed up with the defeats which followed against Southampton and Burnley.

However, overcoming West Ham United and Brentford in quick succession have got Leicester back on track, and they will be confident of repeating their dominant success at Villa Park from earlier in the season.

As for the home side, they welcome Leicester to the West Midlands on the back of claiming four points from important Premier League tussles with Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford.

On both occasions, Dean Smith watched his team come from behind to avoid defeat, and it will fill the Villa boss with confidence due to the spirited showings coming after the capitulation versus Manchester City.

The most pleasing aspect for Smith may have been not having to rely on Jack Grealish for a goal against Watford, with Douglas Luiz and Tyrone Mings, aided by Ezri Konsa, providing the telling contributions.

Nevertheless, if Villa want to reach a first EFL Cup final since 2010, the playmaker will likely have to produce yet another inspiring performance, something which he has made a habit of since the beginning of the season.

Aston Villa EFL Cup form: WWWWD
Aston Villa form (all competitions): WLDLDW

Leicester City EFL Cup form: DWWDD
Leicester City (all competitions): WDLLWW

Team News

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy holds his injured glutes on January 22, 2020© Reuters

While Rodgers has suggested that Jamie Vardy could return on Tuesday night, the striker may have to make do with a place among the replacements.

The players rested against Brentford will be recalled, which includes the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira and Youri Tielemans.

Rodgers faces picking two from Dennis Praet, Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Perez, with the latter potentially being left on the substitutes' bench.

Villa will be without Danny Drinkwater, who is cup tied after representing Burnley earlier in the competition.

However, despite not being signed in time for the first leg, goalkeeper Pepe Reina is eligible to start between the sticks.

Mbwana Samatta is likely to be selected among the replacements after arriving from Genk.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Reina; Konsa, Mings, Hause; Guilbert, Luiz, Nakamba, Targett; Grealish, El Ghazi, Trezeguet

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Pereira, Soyuncu, Evans, Chilwell; Praet, Ndidi, Tielemans; Barnes, Maddison, Iheanacho

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We say: Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester City

Given Villa's recent improvements and Leicester's hectic schedule, this could be much closer than many are anticipating. However, we cannot back against the Foxes, who will feel that they have the quality to hurt a Villa backline which is unable to keep clean sheets.

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Who will progress through to the EFL Cup final?

Aston Villa
Leicester City
Aston Villa
Leicester City
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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City25163665293651
3Leicester CityLeicester25154654262849
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs2510784032837
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd259972623336
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd259883629735
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2581163532335
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2587102436-1231
14Crystal Palace257992229-730
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2568113037-726
17Aston Villa2574143247-1525
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham2566133043-1324
20Norwich CityNorwich2546152447-2318

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