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Aston Villa Vs. Tranmere Rovers, Lineups And Open Match Thread

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STARTING XI: Brad Guzan; Eric Lichaj, Matthew Lowton, Nathan Baker, Enda Stevens; Barry Bannan, Stephen Ireland, Chris Herd, Fabian Delph; Andreas Weimann, Darren Bent

SUBS: Shay Given, Charles N'Zogbia, Brett Holman, Nathan Delfouneso, Daniel Johnson, Graham Burke, Derrick Williams


STARTING XI: Owain Fon Williams, Danny Holmes, Ash Taylor, Liam Palmer, Joe Thompson, James Wallace, Jake Cassidy, Andy Robinson, Zoumana Bakayogo, Ben Gibson, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro

SUBS: Danny Harrison, Jake Kirby, Cole Stockton, Max Power, Michael Kay, Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Jason Mooney

Related: Aston Villa vs. Tranmere Rovers Preview | Follow us on Twitter

I have nothing intelligent to say about this game (what else is new a hur hur hur) but boy howdy do we need to win it. The League Cup is as close to a total crapshoot as you can get in English football and it's also the easiest path to European play by quite some margin. Cup games are hugely important on their own merits. But given the way things have gone to this point in the season, this is bigger than a second round League Cup game against a League One side has any right to be.

Villa need this one badly, because an upset loss at home to Tranmere on the back of two Premier League losses and Newcastle to come on the weekend would be a really heavy blow, to the morale of the fans and players alike. So let's not let it come to that, okay boys?