Carling Cup 4th Round? On the Road to Villa..
The draw for the Carling Cup 4th Round was made on Saturday. Burnley who progressed to the last sixteen after defeating Owen Coyle's Bolton Wanderers at Turf Moor will now face further Premier League opposition after being given a tricky fixture away to Aston Villa
Yes, it will be a battle of the Claret & Blue with the tie to be played sometime during week commencing 25th October.
Clarets will be hoping they don't suffer the same fate as local rivals, Blackburn Rovers who were knocked out of the competition by Villa in the last round. Rovers lost that game 3-1 after taking the lead.
This is probably considered a less than inspiring draw by many Clarets fans and it will certainly now be difficult to progress to the quarter finals although not impossible.
The Villans suffered a recent management upheavel following the decision by Martin O'Neill to leave Villa Park after four years at the club. He resigned just before the start of the season. O'Neill led Villa to their third successive sixth-placed finish in the Premier League last season but his departure seems to have had an adverse effect on performance if the results this season are anything to go by.
The club appointed Kevin MacDonald as caretaker manager before announcing on the 8th September that former Liverpool boss,Gerard Houllier would soon be taking over. Although he made a winning start for Villa in the Carling Cup, he takes over a side in the Premier League languishing in 13th spot with seven points from five games although their position could improve if they beat Wolves at Molineux today.(Sunday 26th September)
The Clarets will be hoping that Villa's average form will have continued by the time they clash at Villa Park but the Midlands club have such depth of quality in their squad, it is going to take a superhuman effort by the Clarets if we are to progress further in this competition. Over the years, Villa Park has not proved such a happy hunting ground for Burnley and our most recent experience there was not a good one! We played them last season in the Premier League but despite taking the lead we suffered three quick goals in the second half over a five minute period eventually going down 5-2.
We have also played Villa twice in recent seasons in the Carling Cup competition. We beat them 3-1 at Turf Moor in October 2004 but one year later lost 1-0 at Villa Park.
Villa Park is indeed a bogey ground for the Clarets. We have played them 55 times there and have won just 8, drawn 14 and lost a staggering 33 (60% of the games!)
Oh well let's start improving that statistic beginning with a victory in the Carling Cup next month.
The fourth round draw in full was as follows:
Newcastle v Arsenal
Birmingham v Brentford
Wigan v Swansea
Aston Villa v Burnley
Leicester v West Brom
Man Utd v Wolves
West Ham v Stoke
Ipswich v Northampton
All ties to be played the week commencing 25 October