Aston Villa v Leicester City Team News
New Aston Villa striker Mbwana Samatta comes into contention for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at home to Leicester on Tuesday night.
Having played the past four matches without a recognised forward, Villa manager Dean Smith now has two available as Keinan Davis also returns to the squad after three months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Smith has been keen to ease Samatta into his new surroundings with Villa and won’t pile any extra pressure on the 27-year-old Tanzania international.
“We’ve all seen before how expectations can be built up but not from within the building,” Smith said. “There’s always an adaptation risk when a player comes in from another country – and we’ve had a few this season.
“We’re not expecting him to hit the ground running straight away but we know the qualities he has and hopefully he can bring them to the forefront straight away.”
Midfielder Danny Drinkwater, another January transfer window arrival, is ineligible after playing earlier in the competition for Burnley, while striker Wesley (knee), midfielder John McGinn (fractured ankle) and goalkeepers Tom Heaton (knee) and Jed Steer (calf) are all sidelined.
As for the Foxes, striker Jamie Vardy is set to return from the hamstring injury which caused him to miss last Saturday’s FA Cup win at Brentford.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said on Monday that the 33-year-old former England frontman “will have a part to play” at Villa Park, where the sides will resume battle after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
With the tie finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg, a trip to Wembley awaits the winner to face either Manchester City or Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final.
Rodgers also confirmed Wilfred Ndidi is fit to start but Nampalys Mendy (knee) and Wes Morgan (illness) will not be available.
Aston Villa provisional squad: Reina, Nyland, Guilbert, Engels, Chester, Konsa, Mings, Taylor, Elmohamady, Luiz, Nakamba, Targett, Grealish, Trezeguet, El Ghazi, Hourihane, Jota, Lansbury, Samatta, Vassilev.
Leicester provisional squad: Schmeichel, Ward, Jakupovic, Chilwell, Justin, Pereira, Evans, Fuchs, Benkovic, Soyuncu, Gray, Praet, Tielemans, Ndidi, Maddison, Albrighton, Barnes, Choudhury, Ndidi, Perez, Vardy, Iheanacho.