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Carabao Cup – Leicester City v Aston Villa: Brendan Rodgers wants to


Leicester and Aston Villa have won eight League Cups between them

Brendan Rodgers wants Leicester to “create new history” by reaching the Carabao Cup final with victory over Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

The Foxes, who last won the trophy in 2000, host Villa in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.

“I’m aware the club hasn’t been to a final for 20 years so let’s get there then,” Rodgers said, with his side strong favourites.

The winners will play Manchester United or Manchester City in the final.

Rodgers added: “Let’s not be worried too much about the past. Let’s create this new history but we know we’re going to have to play well to get there.

“It’s always nice when you have something tangible to show for your progress by reaching the League Cup final.”

Boyhood Aston Villa fan Dean Smith says he is aware of the importance of this competition to the five-time winners.

“The players are all ready,” said the Villa manager. “We don’t have a lot of choice with the numbers we have, but everyone is looking forward to the game.

“Some of my best memories of watching this football club came in this competition – my dad taking me to the 1977 cup final. I know my history about this football club in this competition and I’m excited about leading them in the semi-final.

“There’s a real good work ethic and a drive about the players that I want to continue. We’re all looking forward to two really good games against Leicester.”

Team news

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who has scored 17 goals for the Foxes this season, will be available after missing the last three matches with a minor calf problem.

However, centre-back Wes Morgan will “miss the next couple of games” according to Rodgers, having come off with a groin injury during Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup third-round win against Wigan.

Villa will be without striker Wesley, goalkeepers Tom Heaton and Jed Steer and midfielder John McGinn.

Full-back Matt Targett is expected to be back for the match against Manchester City on Sunday.

Match stats

  • Leicester and Aston Villa met in the League Cup semi-final the last time the Foxes reached this stage in 1999-00, with Leicester winning 1-0 on aggregate and going on to lift the trophy.
  • Aston Villa have lost their last two away matches against Leicester, in the Premier League during 2015. Their last win at Leicester was in the League Cup in October 2006, a 3-2 victory under Martin O’Neill.
  • Leicester have gone on to reach the final of the League Cup on each of the five occasions they’ve played at the semi-final stage (1963-64, 1964-65, 1996-97, 1998-99 and 1999-00).
  • This is Aston Villa’s 15th League Cup semi-final tie and their first since 2012-13, when they lost 4-3 on aggregate to Bradford City. They’ve only won the first leg in two of their previous 14 League Cup semi-finals (W2 D7 L5).
  • Brendan Rodgers has progressed from his last 30 domestic cup ties with Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester – the last team to beat Rodgers was Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final in 2014-15, when he was Liverpool manager.
  • Aston Villa have scored 16 goals in the League Cup this season, six more than any other team. They’ve had two wins by five goals this season (6-1 v Crewe, 5-0 v Liverpool), the first team to achieve that in a single League Cup campaign since Manchester City in 2013-14, who won the tournament.
  • Leicester’s James Maddison has scored four goals and assisted five in his last eight League Cup appearances, scoring in each of his three games this season.
  • Aston Villa have won their last four League Cup matches, last winning five in a row in October 1994.

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