Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Saturday March 6 2010
7th March 2010
The buzz around this game is amazing, there will be a full house at the Madejski Stadium, a great atmosphere and the Royals will hope to make it through to their first FA Cup semi final since 1927. A full match preview is here......
Simon Church is looking forward to a great game and insist's the pressure is all on Villa -
"There will be a lot of pressure on them, but we`ve beaten Liverpool and Burnley already so we have a lot of confidence going into this one. We know we can do it. It`s the biggest competition in England and the chance to play at Wembley is at stake. It should be a really good occasion in front of a full house. You can`t ask for much more than that as players.'
Jay Tabb is going to give everything to win -
'I've always loved the FA Cup, its a great competition and I'm really looking forward to Sunday. We will all give everything we have got to get through to the semi final.'
Meanwhile Villa striker Nathan Delfouneso want's to make up for last weekend's Carling Cup final defeat, with another trip to Wembley -
'It [Wembley] was a great experience. The fans were brilliant and the team were brilliant as well. They gave a great performance - it was just a shame about the result. Hopefully we can do the job on Sunday and go back to Wembley again.'
The Royals will welcome back Brynjar Gunnarsson from injury and the Icelander is sure to take his place in the side. It may have to be at right back though because Andy Griffin is struggling with a hamstring strain, but that should hold no fear for Gunnarsson as he was superb in that position at Anfield.
There is better injury news on Gylfi Sigurdsson though who is set to recover from a foot injury that saw him miss Iceland under 21's international in midweek.
Shane Long returns from suspension whilst Kalifa Cisse is also fit but neither are likely to be in the starting 11. Zurab Kizhanishvili, Scott Davies and Nicholas Bignall are all cup tied and will miss out.
Brian McDermott has clearly got the best out of the Malian winger, who regularly flatters to deceive. 5 goals in 5 games make him the inform player in the Royals team and he will be a big threat to Villa if he can continue that.
Martin O'Neill is keeping his team news close to his chest but could rest players after the Carling Cup final that left the Villian's nursing a few knocks. Brad Guzan is likely to take over the gloves from his American counterpart, and fellow Brad, Friedel!
The England midfielder has been in excellent form for Villa this season (and has also earned loads of points for my dream team!!), and he won another England cap on Wednesday night. Playing the middle of midfield he 'will run through walls' according to Vital Villa and will pose a big threat to the Royals. We are likely to play three in the middle to counter this threat.
As the Royals slipped towards Premiership relegation, Villa inflicted an 8th defeat in a row on Steve Coppell's side on 24th February 2008. Ashley Young and Marlon Harewood scored for them before Nicky Shorey grabbed a late consolation in stoppage time.
Top Premier League official Mike Dean will take charge of the game, a decent referee in my opinion. Wonder if I will still be saying that after the game!
Well I have predicted wins for Liverpool, Burnley and West Brom in previous rounds, so I am going to go for a Villa win and hope that I am wrong again!
Wednesday 10th March 2010, Derby (H)
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Date:Saturday March 6 2010
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