The EFL Cup continues this week, and in a fourth round clash, last season’s beaten finalists Aston Villa host Stoke City.
Villa have gotten off to a great start in the current campaign and are currently unbeaten, while Stoke have seen some mixed results.
The Potters will be keen to spring an upset at Villa Park on Thursday evening.
Aston Villa vs Stoke City Head-to-Head
Aston Villa’s season has gotten off to the best possible start. Dean Smith’s Villans have won their first two Premier League matches and look a much-improved prospect to the side that struggled so badly in 2019-20.
Stoke, meanwhile, have seen mixed results under new boss Michael O’Neill, picking up four points from their first three games in the EFL Championship, although they were able to defeat Premier League side Wolves in the EFL Cup’s second round.
Historical results between the two sides clearly favour Aston Villa, who have won 51 of the 117 clashes between the two sides – which date back all the way to 1888.
Aston Villa form guide: W-W-W-W
Stoke City form guide: D-W-L-W-W
Aston Villa vs Stoke City Team News
Aston Villa are still without long-term injury concerns Wesley Moraes and Tom Heaton. Boss Dean Smith will also likely make plenty of changes from the side that defeated Fulham on Monday – meaning we could see a start for new signing Bertrand Traore.
Injured: Wesley Moraes, Tom Heaton
Stoke boss Michael O’Neill has no injury concerns to worry about, but he’s still likely to ring the changes to his starting XI following the weekend’s win over Preston North End.
Aston Villa vs Stoke City Predicted XI
Aston Villa predicted XI (4-3-3): Jed Steer, Frederic Guilbert, Ahmed El Mohamedy, Kortney Hause, Neil Taylor, Marvelous Nakamba, Henri Lansbury, Jacob Ramsey, Bertrand Traore, Keinan Davis, Anwar El Ghazi
Stoke City predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Adam Davies, Nathan Collins, Danny Batth, Bruno Martins Indi, Tommy Smith, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Jordan Thompson, Josh Tymon, Nick Powell, Tyrese Campbell, Sam Vokes
Aston Villa vs Stoke City Prediction
Stoke definitely have the ability to take the game to Villa here, with a hard-running midfield, the creative talents of Nick Powell and the striking ability of Sam Vokes and Tyrese Campbell. However, it’s still hard to see them having success.
Dean Smith’s side are riding a wave of momentum right now that began with their ‘great escape’ at the end of last season, and the quality they’ve added to their squad means that even their second-string side is a strong one.
With Traore, Davis and El Ghazi, they have a lot of goalscoring potential and should be able to handle their EFL Championship opponents here.
Prediction: Aston Villa 2-0 Stoke City