The second leg of the semi-final round of The Capital One Cup kicks off Tuesday as Bradford City visits Villa Park to take on Aston Villa. The first leg saw League Two side Bradford City stun their home fans and The Villans with a decisive 3-1 victory over the Premier side, but with motivation and home field advantage, the score is likely to be different come Tuesday.
Aston Villa is coming off a disappointing 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Saturday in which they let a 2-0 lead disappear in the second half. While losing the lead was disheartening, 17th place Villa can be happy that they at least earned a point away from home against a superior team.
Manager Paul Lambert was visibly upset at the end of the match with his team unable to hold on to the three points, but he feels that his side is ready for Tuesday’s big match. Lambert told The Telegraph, “I won’t need to do much of a team talk, they know already because the first leg was our lowest point of the season. Chelsea was really low obviously because of the beating, but I think because of what happened and who we were playing-and that’s no disrespect to Bradford-that was really, really low."
On the other side, Bradford City will have the chance for eternal glory if they are able to reach the finals as a League Two squad. For a team that isn’t even at the top of League Two (10th), such results are unheard of and Bradford fans will be traveling in numbers (6,500 strong according to ticket sales reports) to Villa Park for a chance to see their team move on. Bradford played remarkably well in the first leg and was able to come away with a famous victory in front of a rousing home crowd. They played inspired football and showed that on any given day, any team can beat any other team, which is what makes football such an amazing game. If Bradford City is able to hold off Villa on Tuesday, it will strike a blow for all lower league competition and show that Premier League squads are no immortal.
The match will be played under the lights and for both teams will be a chance to have some success this season. With neither team challenging for a trophy in their respective leagues, the Capital One Cup presents a huge opportunity. Down 3-1 on aggregate, Aston Villa will have to pull out all the stops and attack with a sense of urgency if they want to earn a spot in the finals. With Lambert’s comments in the media and a lot of talk coming from both camps, Tuesday should offer fans an awesome spectacle of football.
The other side of the tournament features Chelsea vs. Swansea City on Wednesday with Swansea having beaten The Blues in the first leg by a score of 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.