League Two Barrow progressed to the second round of the Carabao Cup by beating Scunthorpe United 1-0 earlier this month. Dimitri Sea’s 50th-minute strike was enough to overcome their opponents and set up a tasty second round tie against Premier League Aston Villa.
Barrow almost caused an upset in the Carabao Cup last season when they visited Pride Park and took Derby County to a penalty shootout, however The Bluebirds fell just short of a place in the second-round draw.
Aston Villa enter the competition in the second round due to their finishing position in the Premier League last season and will be hoping to avoid humiliation and safely book their place in the third round.
Villa made it to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup last season before a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Stoke City that saw them fail to reach the quarter-final.
The game might not be as straight forward as it looks on paper, as Barrow have won their last three games at home, while Aston Villa have won just two of their last seven games away from home, failing to record a clean sheet in any of them.
Barrow are still without Mike Jones and Tom Beading who are both unavailable through injury. Matty Platt, Jamie Devitt and former Villa academy player Dimitri Sea are all doubts.
Mark Cooper will probably sacrifice an attacker to deal with Villa’s three-man midfield and adopt a 3-5-1-1 formation.
Farman; Brown, Ellis, Grayson; Hutton, Taylor, White, Banks, Brough; Williams; Zanzala
Aston Villa (4-3-3):
Steer; Guilbert, Tuanzebe, Hause, Targett; Chukwuemeka, Nakamba, Hourihane; Philogene-Bidace, Wesley, El Ghazi
Ones to watch
Offrande Zanzala will be Barrow’s main attacking threat on Tuesday night and will be looking to put his name up in lights by scoring against Premier League opposition. The 24-year-old striker has already scored twice in just three starts for Barrow this season, and is very capable of finding the net from distance, something which could come in handy due in a game where Barrow are unlikely to get the ball in the opposition box with much regularity.
17-year-old Carney Chukwuemeka could be given a start at Barrow as Dean Smith looks to give his younger players a chance. The midfielder joined from Northampton Town’s academy in 2016 before signing his first professional contract with Villa in July 2020. The England u18s international already has two Premier League appearances under his belt and will be hoping that he can continue to breakthrough into the first team this season.
This will be the first time these two sides have ever faced each other.
How to watch
The game is live on Sky Sports Football at 19:45 on Tuesday 24 August.