Aston Villa face Leicester City on Tuesday, hosting the Foxes in a 7:45pm kickoff at Villa Park. Given the surprise result at the King Power stadium—where but for the late goal from Kelechi Iheanacho, Villa may have actually snatched the win—as well as Leicester’s position in the table (3rd, but they’ve won just one league game since the first tie), Villa’s position in the table (16th, but with a draw against Brighton and a win against Watford; it’s truly the embarrassing 6–1 against Manchester City that stands out now), and the number of injuries this Villa side have sustained, it’s no wonder the majority of betting companies are still putting the odds on Leicester, even if Villa’s form looks better at the moment.
I, being a baby of the 80s (shout it out just one more time, for the generation that was all mine) who grew up in the US, do not put my faith in odds spit out by a computer algorithm. No, I place my trust in the Magic 8 Ball. For you youngsters who are not part of the Oregon Trail generation, the purpose of the Magic 8 Ball was to learn the future by asking it yes or no questions. To be fair, we usually asked it whether a certain individual liked us, but I thought about its potential and realized it could help us predict the results of Aston Villa vs. Leicester City. However, the answers the virtual ball returned were not as varied as the real Magic 8 Ball, so feel free to chime in with one of the other results if you think it got it wrong.
Because I knew I could obsess about both the game and the Magic 8 Ball all day (when would I get “Reply hazy, try again?!?), I limited myself to eight questions (it seemed fitting). Here’s what the Magic 8 Ball had to say about Aston Villa’s tie with Leicester, and whether the Villa would move on to the Cup final:
First, and perhaps most importantly, I had to make sure I had a dependable stream given I need a VPN to use my nice ESPN account that I (ahem) paid for and should be able to use all over the world because I paid, damn it (ahem again) so anyways...Here’s my answer:
Surprisingly, I’ll be able to watch the entire match. Now, that makes me nervous, because whenever I watch a Villa game live, we seem to lose. So of course, I had to ask about Leicester’s top scorer, Jamie Vardy, given there’s been rumblings that he won’t be fit for the Cup tie.
Ok, here’s where some of you might be losing your faith in this magic little ball, given that Brendan Rodgers has already said he’ll play “some role” in this match. Of course, that role may be shaking his own Magic 8 Ball on the sidelines ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Ergo, we must consider another player, Kelechi Iheanacho, who has all of three league goals, yet scored against the Villa in December, gave them the win in the FA Cup at the weekend, and of course provided the late-game goal that ensured Villa wouldn’t get the win at King Power. I asked, “Iheanacho saw Leicester through the FA Cup. Will he be the difference against Villa again?”
Well, shit. Ok. Are we absolutely sure, Magic 8 Ball? After all, we haven’t actually asked anything about Villa yet. Such as, given the match is at Villa Park, will the crowd be a factor?
Good. Good. Let’s hope the Magic 8 Ball means this in a positive way, and not a chairs-throwing, fists-flying, end-of-days way like we saw against a certain Bluenosed side after a certain Cup tie a few years back.
Now, we aren’t sure that Vardy will play, but we are sure Iheanacho will make a definite impact. Why is that? Will Villa be relying on Jack Grealish so much that they won’t have time for things like, say, defending?
Whew. Looks like this match will be a team effort, at least. And speaking of the team, there was a certain player not named Grealish who made the difference against Watford last week. Is it possible? Could he really do it again?
Hmmm. We’ve got Iheanacho noted as being the difference maker, while Ezri Konsa will merely be “konsaquential.” That doesn’t look to good for the Villa, does it? Perhaps it would help if we could rely on our new goalkeeper.
Ouch. Like a slap in the face, the Magic 8 Ball has delivered perhaps its harshest response. Now, as a Napoli fan and a Serie A follower, I’m here to tell you that Pepe Reina has days when he is absolutely immense, and other days where the ball seems to meander past the goal line while he stands and watches it go by. In truth, he really could be the difference maker against Leicester.
And so the final question remains, the one you’ve all been waiting for, the most important...
Annnnnnnd there you have it. Or not. There’s some wiggle room, but things aren’t looking good for Aston Villa against Leicester City in the League Cup.