When I wrote the tactical preview for Thursday, I suggested that Villa manager Paul Lambert leave struggling striker Christian Benteke on the bench and put Andreas Weimann alone up front. He went a step further, leaving Benteke out of the match day squad of 18 all together.
Here are the lineups:
Aston Villa: Guzan (c), Lowton, Clark, Baker, Herd, Westwood, Albrighton, Weimann, Delph, Tonev, Kozak. Subs: Steer, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Helenius, Luna, Bowery, Sylla.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (c), Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Arnautovic, Whelan, Assaidi; Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Muniesa, Pennant, Palacios, Jones, Adam, Wilkinson
Villa look to be in their usual 4-3-3 and Stoke look like they will be using the 4-2-3-1 that they have for much of this season under Mark Hughes.
From Aaron's match thread:
It is natural to find a game of this magnitude to be somewhat overwhelming. We are only human after all, and though our brains are some of nature's most awe-inspiring creations, there is a limit to their processing capability. No one should deny themselves an experience so uniquely thrilling, but if at any time you feel your mind getting away from you due to the sheer spectacle, please turn away from the game and watch the video of this baby otter: