MX23RW : Wednesday, October 30 00:12:38| >> :120:61667:61667:
Oct 30, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Villa Park
Aston Villa
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's EFL Cup fourth-round tie between Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Aston Villa play host to West Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday night looking to progress through to the EFL Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.

Wolves, on the other hand, will make the trip to Villa Park with head coach Nuno Espirito Santo likely to make widespread changes to his squad given the club's current hectic schedule.

Match preview

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith on October 19, 2019© Reuters

While Villa took their time to get up to speed after last year's promotion, Dean Smith will now be delighted with where his side currently find themselves after two-and-a-half months of the season.

Despite Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Manchester City ending a three-match unbeaten streak in the top flight, Villa now sit in 15th position, three points above the relegation zone.

The Birmingham-based outfit have also recorded two dominant wins over Crewe Alexandra and Brighton & Hove Albion in this competition, with Smith opting to make full use of his squad for each tie.

The same will likely occur on Wednesday evening, although Smith will recognise that the stakes are higher given the opposition and the possibility of securing another favourable tie in the next round.

As for Wolves, the EFL Cup is at their bottom of their priorities as they attempt to cope with the demands of European football, potentially through to the early months of 2020.

However, while there have been times when they have under-performed in recent outings, Nuno's side have managed to put together an eight-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Nuno will undoubtedly want to preserve that record ahead of Saturday's visit to Arsenal, although the Portuguese is unlikely to miss the opportunity to hand a rest to a number of key men, especially in light of Willy Boly's fractured ankle.

Nevertheless, the players who do feature in this derby clash will want to stake their claim for a regular spot, particularly any academy graduates who could be given the chance to break into the senior ranks on a regular basis.

Aston Villa form: LWDWWL

Wolverhampton Wanderers form: WWWDWD

Team News

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota celebrates scoring their first goal with Patrick Cutrone and team mates on September 22, 2019© Reuters

With Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore likely to start on the substitutes' bench, Pedro Neto, Patrick Cutrone and Diogo Jota could form a three-man attack for Wolves.

Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho may be rested, with Leander Dendoncker and Morgan Gibbs-White potentially being given responsibility in the centre of the park.

Having not featured against Slovan Bratislava, Jonny could start at right wing-back ahead of Matt Doherty, while Jesus Vallejo and Max Kilman are in line to play in defence.

John Ruddy will replace Rui Patricio between the sticks, although Nuno may decide against including Ryan Bennett, who has been carrying a groin problem.

Jack Grealish is a doubt for Villa having sustained a knock to his calf, although the playmaker will hope to be involved off the bench.

With Liverpool the visitors on Saturday, Smith should make wholesale alterations, with Kortney Hause coming into the team to face his former club.

Keinan Davis is expected to get the nod over Wesley, while Ahmed Elmohamady will hope to get an opportunity to stake his claim for a recall after losing his place in the Premier League.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup: Steer; Elmohamady, Konsa, Hause, Taylor; Hourihane, Luiz, Lansbury; El Ghazi, Trezeguet, Davis

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup: Ruddy; Vallejo, Coady, Kilman; Jonny, Dendoncker, Gibbs-White, Vinagre; Neto, Cutrone, Jota

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We say: Aston Villa 3-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

While both teams will make alterations, it is difficult to back against Villa making it through to the next round. Wolves will be keen to get one over their rivals, although Villa's probable greater experience may prove to be decisive.

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Who will win Wednesday's EFL Cup tie between Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers?

Aston Villa
Wolverhampton Wanderers
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Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo on September 28, 2019
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