Leicester (-1) @ EVS
It’s not Villa’s fault, but they really find themselves at this advanced stage of the League Cup by default.
Had Liverpool not been forced to play two games within 24 hours of each other, it’s likely that they would have fielded a stronger starting team against Villa in the League Cup quarter-final and easily dealt with the Midlanders’ challenge.
The Villans comfortably saw off the challenge of the young Liverpool side and are now huge underdogs against high-flying Leicester in the semi-final.
The Foxes continue defy their doubters and they have recovered well from consecutive defeats they suffered either side of Christmas, winning each of their last three fixtures.
They completed a routine victory over Wigan in the other cup on Saturday while resting almost all of their key players and should be refreshed for this one. Villa, on the other hand, have recently lost Wesley and Tom Heaton to long-term injuries and will have to field the unreliable Orjan Nyland in goal as a result.
Brendan Rodgers’ side taught Leicester a lesson when they met at Villa Park earlier in the season and it could be a similar story on Wednesday night.
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Jamie Vardy first goalscorer @ 15/8
Vardy hasn’t featured since the chastening Boxing Day defeat to Liverpool due to the birth of his daughter and a subsequent calf injury.
Brendan Rodgers has said that the Premier League top scorer is training well ahead of the League Cup semi-final first leg and it is likely that he will start.
He will be raring to go.
The soon-to-be 33-year-old ran riot at Villa Park in December and seemed to immensely enjoy his goalscoring feat, goading the home crowd after he opened the scoring.
He will be itching to get back playing, especially against an unsettled Aston Villa centre back pairing that has been changed more times than Villa have won points this season.
Over 3.5 goals @ 31/10
There is a reason why Dean Smith hasn’t settled on a centre back partnership more than halfway through the season – his sides have conceded 37 goals in 21 league games.
Only Norwich – who are cut adrift at the bottom of the league – and Southampton – who conceded nine goals in a single game – have conceded more.
The Birmingham club are without a cleansheet on the road since April and the chances of them keeping Leicester at bay for 90 minutes are extremely remote.
Having said that, Villa boast the best-attacking record of the teams in the bottom half of the league and have the capability to score against the very best on their day.
Leicester, meanwhile, play an open and attacking brand of football that is almost always accompanied by goals.
There should be lots of them on Wednesday.Bet on the League Cup semi-finals at PaddyPower.com