Tim Sherwood will be hoping his new Aston Villa side can get a second win over Midland rivals West Bromwich Albion in the space of five days when they host Tony Pulis’ side once again in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday evening.
The relief on Sherwood’s face was evident on Tuesday night when a late Christian Benteke penalty secured a crucial 2-1 over Saturday’s opponents and gave the new manager his first win in charge at Villa Park. Despite their league position, Sherwood will push his side for a win and rightly so as Villa’s record in the FA Cup has been a complete contrast to their league form beating Blackpool, Bournemouth and Leicester to reach the quarter finals stage, and that win midweek will only enhance their chances of reaching Wembley.
Pulis will be desperate to avoid a second defeat to their rivals in such a short space of time and this match will be a great opportunity to bounce back to the form they had previous to Tuesday going five games unbeaten which included three wins. Like their hosts they have had an excellent run to the quarter-final stage beating; Gateshead, Birmingham and West Ham.
Sherwood is unlikely to change much of his starting XI from the midweek win. He will be forced into one change with Alan Hutton suspended for the next two matches with Leandro Bacuna expected to slot in, only if Matthew Lowton is needed on the left flank with the continued absence of Aly Cissokho and Kieran Richardson. Sherwood’s biggest selection dilemma will become between the sticks as Shay Given has been preferred to Brad Guzan in goal throughout the competition.
His counterpart in the dugout may look to make changes to his squad but isn’t likely to make drastic, the Welshman may start with a more attacking side with Stephan Sessegnon coming in in place of Craig Gardener and James Morrison. Victor Anichebe is likely to be missing out so record signing Brown Ideye and Sadio Berahino will continue their partnership upfront, Callum McManaman could be back in contention after missing the last game with a knock.