Smith to utilise squad depth against Chelsea

23 September 2021 00:29:56 GMTPlus11
Smith ready to ring the changes

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says he will make changes to his side for their Carabao Cup tie away at Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

Smith's team were drawn to play the Blues following a 6-0 thumping of League Two Barrow in the second round and they can be backed at 7/2 to advance to round four with Chelsea available at 2/11.

Many of the club's youngsters impressed in that victory in Cumbria with young forward Cameron Archer netting a hat trick, while Carney Chukwuemeka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace were also widely praised.

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With a busy schedule on the horizon, Smith says he will look to give game time to those who need it most.

Bertrand Traore has only just recovered from a month on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury while Smith also hinted at record-signing Emi Buendia's inclusion.

"We've got the likes of Bertrand Traore, who's coming back from injury," the Villa boss said. "Emi Buendía, who's come back from international duty, and haven't got on the pitch (against Everton). Bert obviously got on for the last five minutes.

"We've got some players who need game time, some very good players. We've got a deep squad now and it's a chance to give some of those players some more minutes after a hindered pre-season."

Villa reached the final of the Carabao Cup two years ago but were defeated 2-1 by Manchester City at Wembley.

After Wednesday's cup tie, they get back to Premier League action on Saturday with a lunchtime trip to Manchester United, seeking to build upon an impressive 3-0 turnover of Everton to help lift them to 10th.

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