FOOTBALL journalists Adam Goodwin (@agjournalism) highlights the value from Tuesday night's EFL Cup clash from Huish Park as Yeovil entertain Aston Villa.
Yeovil v Aston Villa | Tuesday 14th August 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
The EFL Cup is back on Tuesday and Sky have chosen League Two side Yeovil against former European Champions Aston Villa as the game to be shown on TV.
There are currently 65 places between the two teams after a couple of games and Darren Way will be looking to make this game a lot tighter than what it looks on paper.
The Glovers were dealt a major blow in the transfer market over the summer when star man Otis Khan left to join Mansfield. Khan rubbed salt into Yeovil wounds when he set-up the equaliser against them on Satuday – ouch.
The Somerset side have failed to replace the tricky no.10 and many cited his performances as the main reason why they stayed up. Without him, many have tipped Yeovil for relegation, so you’d imagine it’d be pretty tricky to beat Championship promotion chasers Aston Villa.
As I just mentioned, Yeovil secured a valiant 2-2 draw against Mansfield over the weekend – a side that will undoubtedly be near the top of the table come the end of the season. That was their first point of the season after a 1-0 defeat to Bury on the opening day – but they were down to nine-men for over a quarter of the game after two of their players were sent off in the second-half.
They’ve received as many red cards as they’ve scored goals so far this season, which isn’t an ideal start to what will be a tricky season for Darren Way’s side.
Yeovil have only won four games in this competition since 2006 and just one of those games was against a Championship side. They beat Alan Pardew’s Charlton 1-0 in 2008, the same year they finished rock-bottom of the second-tier.
The Glovers lost to Championship sides such as Wolves, Birmingham and QPR in the League Cup over the last few seasons and I think their poor record in his competition will continue on Tuesday night.
After problems with their owner, Tony Xia, and Financial Fair Play complications, pessimism surrounded Aston Villa heading into the new season. Steve Bruce was facing the axe in favour of Thierry Henry just days before the new season, but since retaining his job, they’ve won both games, scoring six goals.
Villa head into this with momentum and you’d imagine that they’d be able to dispatch of Yeovil fairly easily. Unlike Yeovil, the Villains managed to keep hold of their key man in Jack Grealish, and whilst he might not start on Tuesday night, his decision to stay has been a massive boost to the whole squad.
The additions of John McGinn and Axel Tuanzebe as also added an extra element to Villa and, even if they do rotate at Huish Park, they should still have enough to edge past the Glovers. Also unlike Yeovil, Aston Villa have a decent record in this competition.
The Claret & Blue have only been eliminated in the first round twice since 2006. Those two occasions were against Luton in 2016 during Roberto Di Matteo’s short reign at the club, and in 2014 when their defence contained Phillipe Senderos and Kieran Richardson.
They’ve won the League Cup five times and I’d be amazed if they didn’t get through to at least the second round this year.
The betting angle
When you look at Yeovil’s lack of quality, poor record in this competition in the past and their need to focus on the league, it’s hard to see them getting anything from this game. When you’re a big club like Aston Villa, the fans demand some sort of cup run and Tuesday could be the start of one this year.
I’m going to back Steve Bruce’s side to win but also include Over 1.5 Goals to bump the odds up to 10/11 with Betfair. They’ve seen two or more goals in their first two league matches and six of their last seven games in the League Cup.
The visitors also averaged four goals per-game when playing away from home in this competition, so you’d imagine that goals will definitely be on the cards here.
Yeovil v Aston Villa – Aston Villa to win and Over 1.5 Goals (10/11 Betfair)