Aston Villa will hope to follow up their dramatic victory over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League by defeating the same opponents for a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Christian Benteke’s late winner from the penalty spot did not only take Villa out of the relegation zone; it could turn out to be the springboard for a terrific run to end the season, and will certainly give the hosts a psychological advantage coming into this one, particularly with Tim Sherwood’s arrival having sparked the supporters into life.
It ended a run of seven straight league defeats, but Villa have raised their game for the FA Cup in 2015, perhaps due to the less intense pressure that comes with it. Blackpool, Bournemouth and Leicester City have all been seen off and they will be confident of adding to that list here, particularly if Gabriel Agbonlahor carries on from where he left off on Tuesday.
On the other side of the coin, it was bitterly disappointing for West Brom to lose as they had edged the second half and arguably looked the more likely to win, only for goalkeeper Ben Foster to compound a poor individual display with the mistake which led to the winner, so they will be determined to put things right here.
And they certainly can if they play like they did in the last round against West Ham United, dominating from start to finish to clinch a deserved 4-0 success. The Baggies have not appeared in a semi-final since 2008, and their best chance of ending that run would be to provide better service to front pair Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye than they managed last time out.
The hosts could have captain Ron Vlaar back, but Alan Hutton is suspended while Aly Cissokho, Kieran Richardson and Philippe Senderos are all unavailable through injury. Victor Anichebe and Darren Fletcher are both out for West Brom.
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