Scott Loach and Michael Chopra set to start in Aston Villa FA Cup clash

MICK McCarthy will ring the changes for Saturday’s FA Cup third round clash at Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.

With DJ Campbell now back at parent club QPR, Michael Chopra is set to win his first start in eight matches – the 1-1 home draw with Peterborough was the only time Mick McCarthy has began with last season’s top scorer since taking over.

Stephen Henderson and Bradley Orr are also ineligible, after parent clubs West Ham and Blackburn refused to allow them to play, meaning Scott Loach should get the nod over Arran Lee-Barrett in goal.

Orr’s replacement is less clear with 18-year-old Elliott Hewitt hoping to make his full debut after impressing in both training and fleeting substitute appearances.

Another school of thought is Carlos Edwards being pushed back to the right side of the defence and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas or Josh Carson earning a rare start.


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Andy Drury, if recovered from his bout of illness, or Nigel Reo-Coker could also play as a more narrow right-midfielder.

Young Villa midfielder Brett Holman hopes the cup match against Ipswich – and the Capital One Cup semi-final against Bradford just three days later – will be an ideal chance to restore some confidence after the Premier League suffered a nightmare Christmas period – earning just one point from their four matches while losing 8-0, 4-0 and 3-0 to Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan respectively.

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Holman said: “That’s definitely a great opportunity to win a couple of games and score some goals.”

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