Aston Villa confirm team changes for cup match v Luton
By Dominic Toner
Roberto Di Matteo has explained that he will make changes to the Aston Villa side that lost 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
Villa got off to a disappointing start in the Championship opener and will now turn their attention to their EFL first-round clash against Luton on Wednesday.
Former Chelsea manager Di Matteo has confirmed that he will make some adjustments to his starting 11 for the cup competition.
“Over the course of the season, you need a squad definitely,” Di Matteo told the club’s official website. “We will look at using and utilising the squad so there will be a few changes for Wednesday.
“Never mind the fixture list, it’s also a case of looking at how the players came through the game on Sunday and whether they are available to play.”
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Villa failed to live up to expectations in their first competitive game of the season, as Fernando Forestieri pounced on a mistake from goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini to score the only goal of the game.
Di Matteo handed debuts to the club’s new signing Ross McCormack, Tommy Elphick and Gollini but some of the fringe players may now get the chance to impress in the trip to Luton.
Substitutes from the Sheffield game Jack Grealish, Aaron Tshibola and Andre Green could be handed their first starts of the season.
Luton will be hoping to cause a cup upset against Villa and lead the League Two table at this very early stage of the season, following a 3-0 away victory over Plymouth.
However striker Gabby Agbonlahor will not be one of those players given a chance against Luton, as the Birmingham Mail reported that Di Matteo told the former club captain that he is not in his plans for the new season.
Sky Sports claimed on their transfer centre blog (3:37pm) that Villa defender Joe Bennett is undergoing a medical at Sheffield Wednesday, after completing a three-year deal with the Yorkshire club.
With several players set to depart Villa Park this summer the cup fixture against Luton will give Di Matteo a good look at the squad he has at his disposal.
In other Aston Villa team news, new signing McCormack wants to be the club’s main set-piece taker.