Game : Aston Villa FC ( Eng) vs CSKA Moscow (Rus)
Competition : UEFA Cup Round of 32
Venue : Villa Park, England
Date : Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Kickoff : 19.00 UK Time
Martin O’Neill squares off against Zico when Aston Villa take on CSKA Moscow in the first leg of their round of 32 tie on Wednesday evening.
Villa were beaten 3-1 by Everton in the FA Cup on Sunday, but Martin O’Neill might take that as a blessing given Villa’s congested fixture list. However Curtis Davies’ shoulder injury might rule him out of this clash. O’Neill also has fitness doubts over winter signing Emile Heskey, who aggravated his achilles injury while on national duty with England against Spain. Skipper Martin Laursen and midfielder Steven Sidwell are both out, through injury and suspension respectively.
Villa started off their Group F campaign well by beating Slavia Prague and Ajax, but then lost to Zilina and German side Hamburger SV.
Aston Villa form- last five games- all competitions- Villa scorers in brackets.
Everton 3-1 Aston Villa ( James Milner pen)
Blackburn 0-2 Aston Villa ( James Milner, Gabriel Agbonlahor)
Aston Villa 3-1 Doncaster ( Steven Sidwell, John Carew, Nathan Delfouneso)
Aston Villa 0-0 Wigan
Portsmouth 0-1 Aston Villa ( Emile Heskey)
Milner, Carew and Agbonlahor are good options for Villa to score. Check out the latest odds for them scoring at 12Bet. In the five goals that Villa scored in the group stages, four came in the first half.
CSKA were the only team to emerge from the group stages with a 100% win record. They scored 12 goals, with six of them coming from Wagner Love. The Brazilian is an excellent option for them to score. Unlike Villa, CSKA have had their share of rest, with the Russian league ending way back in November. Semberas Devidas and Anton Grigoriev are suspended. Zhirkov and Dzagoev are the other important cogs in CSKA’s wheel.
CSKA scored in both halves during the group stages. In their group stage games, they always managed to score in the first half.
Verdict:- Villa will be pumped up for this clash. CSKA are a good team, but as many teams in the Premier League have already found out this season, Villa+ Martin O’Neill at home are a deadly combination. 2-1 to Villa, with Carew, Barry and Love scoring.