PREVIEW: Wanderers v Aston Villa

Wanderers will be looking to pull off a shock as they take on Premier League outfit Aston Villa in the second round of the Carabao Cup.

The Whites will be looking to upset the five-time winners at the University of Bolton Stadium to reach round three for the first time since 2018.

The sides have met twice before in the competition, with Wanderers winning both times.

Prior to a 2-0 win at Villa Park in September, 2011, Wanderers knocked Villa out in a two-legged semi-final in 2004.

A 5-2 home win inspired by Jay Jay Okocha – who scored direct from two free-kicks – set up an aggregate 5-4 victory as Wanderers secured a final date with Middlesbrough.

Manager quotes

Ian Evatt: “I think they’ll give us the respect we deserve by putting out a really strong team.

“Steven will probably view it as an opportunity for them to win some silverware – the League Cup.

“It will be a good game for us, a good test, and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’ll give it our best shot, try and be the best version of ourselves and see what happens.”

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard:

“When the TV cameras come to games like this, you know what the outside world are after.

“We need to respect that and protect ourselves from that. We need to bounce back (from defeat at Crystal Palace) and put ourselves into the next round.

Steven Gerrard.jpg

“That’s the next challenge for the players. We’ll treat this game with serious importance.

“There will be changes, of course, because the game is close enough for us to try and freshen it up and energise the squad and the team.

“But there won’t be wholesale changes and there won’t be, ‘Oh it’s the League Cup, let’s make all kinds of changes’. We’ll be strong.”

Team news

Midfielder George Thomason returns following a three-match ban for the red card he received in Wanderers’ first-round win over Salford.

However, Wanderers are missing injured striker Jon Dadi Bodvasson with a hamstring strain that will keep him out for up to two weeks.

Defender Eoin Toal is not yet available but was set to play for the Whites’ B team on Tuesday afternoon, along with Josh Sheehan and Lloyd Isgrove as they continue on the comeback trail.

Villa are set to make changes following their weekend loss at Crystal Palace and ahead of next Saturday’s visit of West Ham and a mid-week trip to Premier League leaders Arsenal.

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But manager Steven Gerrard is still expected to play a strong hand and among those getting a start could be goalkeeper Robin Olsen, defenders Ashley Young and Calum Chambers and former Liverpool and Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho (above).

Form guide

Wanderers’ 2-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday was their first loss in 14 games.

It was also just a second home defeat since early January.

The Whites reached round two of the Carabao Cup thanks to a 5-1 win over Salford City at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Aston Villa have won one and lost two of their opening three Premier League games.

Both defeats have come away from home, including last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace.

Steven Gerrard’s side has won three of its last 14 top-flight games going back to last season and enter the Carabao Cup at this stage.


Referee: Andrew Kitchen

Assistant referees: Christopher Ward and Conor Brown

Fourth official: Thomas Kirk


Tuesday 7.45pm


Live on Sky Sports. Commentary also available on iFollow with an audio pass. Details HERE

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