Big Game Focus: Aston Villa v Leicester


Aston Villa host Leicester tonight in the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final, with the hosts aiming to secure a place in a domestic cup final for the first time since 2016. Leicester are also looking for their first cup final appearance since 2000. Here’s the Big Game Focus. Bet on the game here. 

Dean Smith’s side scored with their only shot on target in the first leg, but a mistake from Douglas Luiz allowed Jamie Vardy to race through on goal before teeing up Kelechi Iheanacho to level matters. Villa were second best in the first leg just over two weeks ago but defended resolutely in the second half to avoid defeat. This time around, they must produce a much better performance if they’re going to progress to the final.

The Foxes dominated the first leg at the King Power Stadium but could only draw with Villa despite having 70% of the ball and 21 attempts on goal. Brendan Rodgers’ side will take comfort in the fact that they hammered Dean Smith’s side 4-1 in December. At 1-1, the tie is perfectly poised and the Foxes cannot afford to concede another early goal. It should be an entertaining encounter.

Betting preview

Leicester City have won eight of their last 11 away games in all competitions, while Aston Villa have lost four of their last eight competitive home games. In the last six meetings between these two, the Foxes have won three times, Villa once, while the other two ended in draws. For that reason, you can back a Leicester Win at odds of 1.70. 

Both teams have scored in five of the last six meetings between them. Both teams have found the net in Villa’s last six games and four of the Foxes’ last six matches in all competitions. You can back Both Teams to Score at odds of 1.55. 

Three of the last five meetings between these two have seen at least three goals scored. Four of the host’s last six games and three of Leicester’s last five games in all competitions have seen Over 2.5 Goals scored. Therefore, you can back Over 2.5 Goals at odds of 1.55. 

Team news

Aston Villa come into the game with no new injury concerns. Tom Heaton and Wesley remain on the sidelines, having both been struck with season-ending injuries. There is still no return date for John McGinn, who suffered a fractured ankle in December. Villa’s new signing, Mbwana Samatta should get his first start.

Rodgers confirmed Vardy will be in the Leicester squad to face Villa. The 33-year-old striker picked up a gluteal injury during the Foxes’ 4-1 Premier League win over West Ham on Wednesday. Wilfred Ndidi, who suffered a knee injury in training in early January, is fit to start but Nampalys Mendy and Wes Morgan will be unavailable.

Possible line-ups

Aston Villa: Reina, Guilbert, Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett, Drinkwater, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Grealish, Samatta

Leicester: Schmeichel, Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell, Ndidi, Tielemans, Perez, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.