League Two’s Barrow look to cause a major giant killing cupset as the Bluebirds welcome Premier League’s Aston Villa to Holker Street in Second Round of 2021-22 Carabao Cup.
Barrow are looking to reach the Third Round for the third time in their history, whereas Villa look to avoid finding themselves on the end of a shock defeat.
Dimitri Sea is a doubt for Barrow after missing Saturday’s loss at Harrogate as a precautionary measure after suffering a concussion against Hartlepool United earlier this month.
Matty Platt (back), Mike Jones (Achilles), Jamie Devitt (thigh) and Tom Beadling (knee) are also absent.
Aston Villa will be without Bertrand Traore after a hamstring injury kept him ruled out of Saturday’s victory over Newcastle, which will force the striker out of action until after next month’s international break.
Ollie Watkins (knee) is unlikely to be risked alongside Leon Bailey, after the Jamaican winger suffered a knock to his hamstring in training ahead of Saturday’s match.
Trezeguet and Morgan Sanson remain ruled out with knee injuries.
- This is Barrow’s first-ever meeting against Aston Villa in all competitions.
- Barrow have lost their only two previous cup ties against Premier League opposition, losing away to Middlesbrough and Sunderland in 2008-09 and 2009-10 FA Cup editions respectively (L2).
- Aston Villa have won four of their last six Carabao Cup ties against EFL clubs (W4, L2), scoring 13 goals and conceding three goals across those six matches.
- Barrow are looking to reach the Third Round of this competition for just the third time in their history having previously done so in 1962-63 and 67-68 seasons, although they didn’t face top-flight opposition at this stage in those seasons.
- Villa have advanced from four of the last six seasons in which they reached this stage of the competition, with their last two defeats at this stage coming against Leyton Orient and Burton Albion in August 2014 and 2018 respectively.
As underdogs, Barrow are definitely in for a difficult test following a solid summer of development with several free signings but I do wonder if they could of done with retaining Scott Quigley, especially because of his goalscoring record which would of given them boosted belief for a game like this.
Villa meanwhile are set to be heavily changed with several fringe players set to get a chance yet I do expect to see one or two regulars feature, just to serve as a signal of intent given Villa’s strong credentials for a deep cup run.
On that note, this feels like a game that should be one-sided if Villa turn up and take Barrow seriously despite this marking their maiden visit to Barrow, simply because their superior quality should be enough to ease to victory especially in front of the Sky cameras.
Prediction: Barrow 0-3 Aston Villa
Result: Barrow 0-6 Aston Villa