Semi-final for Villa? It would be about time...
By Villa reporter
Monday 30 Nov 2009 21:56:00
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Villa bid for a rare semi-final appearance when they go to Portsmouth in the Carling Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night.

The side just inherited by Avram Grant have had a torrid time so far this season, although have saved some of their best football for this competition, beating Stoke with some ease at Fratton Park in the last round.

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Villa have already beaten Portsmouth this term – it was 2-0 at Villa Park in September – and must be confident of a similar result here.

It would be high time Villa reached another semi-final – and they’d then be overdue a trip to Wembley.

Their only two cup wins in the last 25 years were in the League Cup in 1994 and 1996 and their only other final appearance during that period was in the 2000 FA Cup when they were beaten by Chelsea.

Boss Martin O'Neill said: ‘The history of this club would suggest we should be contesting more semi-finals and finals than they have done in the last 25 years.

‘They have won this trophy once or twice. I remember Brian Little telling me that to win it was really terrific and the feeling that was felt throughout the whole club was really energising.’

Villa central defender James Collins is again ruled out through a combination of groin and thigh problems but O'Neill has been pleased with the way Carlos Cuellar has slotted in alongside Richard Dunne. O'Neill will check on the fitness of left-back Stephen Warnock and midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker before finalising his side.

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