Aston Villa have a good chance of Cup Glory this season. They face Manchester United in the League Cup final on February 28 and I would not be surprised if they won. And with Arsenal, United and Liverpool all exited from the FA Cup, there is a great opportunity for the Villans in that competition too.
Due to their fantastic defensive record this season they have become difficult for any team to beat. With Richard Dunne and James Collins at the heart of it the Birmingham club are on course for their best ever league campaign in terms of goals conceded, with just 18 in 24 matches so far. It is not just the defence alone that should be praised for this, but also the hard-working midfield in front of it. These endeavours do not hold back their quality though and with the wing wizards Stewart Downing and Ashley Young able to swap flanks and produce telling crosses at any time, I believe they will cause United problems at Wembley, just like they did to Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in the 1994 final when Villa emerged 3-1 winners.
And it is about time Martin O’Neill added some more silverware to his name. He has yet to do so at Villa Park after landing two League Cups in his time with Leicester City and a plethora of honours while north of the border with Celtic. He has demonstrated his management ability in the West Midlands by leading his side to two sixth-place finishes but he knows that their expectant fan base now crave something more.
Leaving Old Trafford victorious earlier in the season was important. Villa have struggled against United in recent years and that will give them a big lift going into the final. Knowing they can beat the Red Devils will give them a huge psychological boost.
In the FA Cup, Crystal Palace stand in the Villa Park outfit’s way of a quarter final place. Selhurst Park will not be an easy destination to go and win with the South London club revelling in a siege mentality after being placed in administration. But O’Neill will put out a full-strength side and that should be too much for The Eagles. They will of course want to avoid Chelsea should they get through but with their mean defence and counter-attacking ability they should fear no one. I really believe Villa can do a cup double this season. Do you agree?