Aston Villa’s Semi-final at Wembley is in a bit of a strange limbo at the moment, with the replay of our potential opponents Liverpool and Blackburn’s quarter-final reply not until Wednesday April 8th.
As expected the date, the FA finally announced the game to take place on Sunday 19th April (after some Villa fan persuasion), factors for the date included West Brom visit to London to play Crystal Palace and the Blues also visit Watford on the Saturday. So, there is no doubt West Midlands Police raised the safety concerns to the FA of Villa, Baggies and Blues fans potentially all heading London way on the same day.
While Blackburn’s impressive draw at Anfield now presents them with an improved chance to claim another Premier League scalp, after despatching both Swansea and Stoke at Ewood Park in earlier rounds, Liverpool, Europe’s most in-form team at the moment, remain the favourites to progress to the semi-final to play Villa.
If it is Liverpool that Villa play, Villa will have the slight advantage of having two days extra rest for the Wembley match-up, as Liverpool entertain Newcastle on Monday night (13th April) prior to weekend’s clash, while Villa play on the Saturday. With Liverpool chasing a top four place, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to rest too many players for that fixture.
If Blackburn make it through, Villa will have a three-day rest period advantage over their opponents as Blackburn visit the Blues on Tuesday 14th April. There’s no doubt Blackburn would have more leeway to rotate their squad a bit more with Wembley in mind.
With Blackburn and Liverpool’s Quarter-final 10/11 days before the semi-final, it’ll mean three games in that period, while Villa only have to play two.
Also, another potential advantage is the fact the Villa players can focus on Wembley now, while their opponents can’t do that until just over a week before the Wembley date.
Tim Sherwood will also get a chance to see Villa’s potential opponents in action head-to-head, which will no doubt help him plan ahead.
Aston Villa Semi Final Tickets
Aston Villa are expected to receive a minimum of 31,799 tickets for the semi-final, with prices categorised at £33, £43, £53 and £63. See other posts for more details.
It should be a decent day out. UTV
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