JOHN KRETLOW - Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj should get the start for Aston Villa in the Battle of Birmingham, while Frank Simek and Mike Grella look to push Carlisle into the next round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Birmingham - Aston Villa
It will be a battle for the right to starting keeper between Brad Guzan and Brad Friedel in the Battle of Birmingham as the former lost his spot in the previous round.
Guzan is largely considered the successor for either senior keeper, club or country. The 26 year old has been patient, using cup games as his outlet to showcase his talents.
Young Eric Lichaj will also likely start for the away team, as both understudy Americans look to gain minutes for their club. Villa have nine senior players sidelined through injury, and will find the cup match against their local rivals that much more difficult with the cities pride at stake.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Carlos Cuellar, Emile Heskey, and Nigel Reo-Coker are all expected to return at the weekend, but will probably not be rushed for the Cup game. Steven Sidwell should make his return on Boxing Day, while Fabian Delph will return in January, while Stiliyan Petrov and Andreas Weimann are both out until February.
Birmingham's biggest miss will be Alexander Hleb, should the on loan Barcelona man be forced out after picking up a calf muscle strain. Maik Taylor is out with a shoulder injury, while Craig Gardner is out with an ankle injury. James McFadden should return in February from his ACL knee injury.
Carlisle United – Sheffield Wednesday
Frank Simek and Mike Grella hope to push Carlisle United to victory over Sheffield Wednesday in a Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash.
Simek has been a regular starter for the Cumbrians and should be in the lineup Tuesday. Grella missed Carlisle's FA Cup clash because his parent club did not give him permission to play. The American should see time against Sheffield.
Carlisle's Peter Murphy looks to miss with a back injury.
The Cumbrians are coming off a 3-2 FA Cup victory over Tamworth during the weekend and hope to continue their good run in the midweek.
Wednesday beat Northampton Town in FA Cup action this weekend and has won league games in a row. They hope to keep that momentum going against Carlisle.
Jon Otsemobor' calf and Lewis Buxton's hamstring could keep them out of Sheffield Wednesday's lineup.
Jonathan Spector will look to make the bench against Manchester United at home for West Ham.