Tuesday 11 December 2012
Three Barclays Premier League teams are in action tonight looking to seal a semi-final spot in the Capital One Cup.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert returns to Norwich City's Carrow Road for the first time since leaving in the summer in the all-Premier League clash and knows his team have a challenge to overcome a Canaries side in form.
"It is a tough game but we are playing well enough to go and win," he said. "We are going there and it has got to finish on the night so we've got to try and get through.
"Norwich are going really fine at the minute and the crowd will really be behind them. We are more than capable of getting through. We will go down there and play attacking football."
"When you’re on a run you don’t want it to finish"
Norwich manager Chris Hughton is hoping that the team's unbeaten run of 10 matches including a 4-3 victory over in-form Swansea City at the weekend is not brought to an end.
"When you're on a run you don't want the run to finish, and we’ve used this competition very well in the games that we've played, and we hope we can take that into the game," he told the club website. "The thing that's pleasing me most is that we’re getting points on the board. We've had good periods where we haven’t been able to do that.
"Goals tend to come in cycles and it has certainly come with a confidence in the team. We had to make ourselves more difficult to beat, and we’ve gone some way towards that and with that comes confidence. It was wonderful for us to score four goals away from home, and in this division that's a real feat."
The two teams have met in the Barclays Premier League this season at Villa Park when they drew 1-1.
Arsene Wenger has warned Arsenal they need to avoid a penalty shoot-out against Bradford City if they are to advance to the semi-finals. Arsenal travel to Valley Parade seeking a record 15th appearance in the last four of the competition.
Npower League Two club Bradford, who were in the Barclays Premier League for two seasons from 1999, accounted for Wigan Athletic on penalties in the fourth round and have won eight successive shoot-outs.
"We have to win the game in normal time," Wenger said. "They have gained confidence in these types of competitions and confidence plays a big part in that. Hopefully we won't need penalties.
"Bradford are a force in their league, they are a team who play very good football and very efficient as well. We take them very seriously. They are very efficient at set-pieces, so we will have to be very strong on that.
"We have to win the game in normal time"
"Valley Parade was a difficult place to go to when we played there in the Premier League. It is a passionate place with a very special atmosphere as well. That's what you will get again in this match.
"When you go to places like this, you need to tell your players that it will be as difficult as a Premier League game, and it will be. Therefore you want to prepare yourself. If you don't do your mental work before the game, you have no chance and that is where our job lies."
Wenger's selection against Bradford will be influenced by the fact Arsenal's next match is not until Monday when they travel to Reading.
"We will have an experienced squad at Bradford. We have a good recovery time ahead of the game at Reading, so we can use the players we want to use," he said.
In the other two ties Swansea City are at home to Middlesbrough on Wednesday, while Chelsea, who are in Japan preparing for the FIFA Club World Cup, travel to Leeds United a week on 19 December.
Tuesday 11 December
Bradford City v Arsenal
Norwich City v Aston Villa
Wednesday 12 December
Swansea City v Middlesbrough
Wednesday 19 December
Leeds United v Chelsea