TEAM NEWS: Thirteen changes and three debuts combined as Ipswich Town and Aston Villa shuffle the pack for the FA Cup
Aston Villa v Ipswich: THERE is a combined 13 changes to the previous starting line-ups of Ipswich Town and Aston Villa for today’s FA Cup third round tie at Villa Park.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy has made six alterations to the side that lost 3-0 at home to Brighton on New Year’s Day – three enforced, three through choice.
Tommy Smith, Aaron Cresswell, Nigel Reo-Coker, Lee Martin and Daryl Murphy are the only players to retain their place in the side, with Stephen Henderson, Bradley Orr (ineligible due to loan) and DJ Campbell (returned to QPR) all unavailable and Luke Chambers (broken nose), Guirane N’Daw and Carlos Edwards all dropping to the bench,
Keeper Scott Loach makes his first appearance under McCarthy, while teenage right-back Elliott Hewitt and new loan centre-back Patrick Kisnorbo (Leeds) makes their full Blues debut,
Luke Hyam returns to the side for the first time since his impressive display against Nottingham Forest, while Michael Chopra has been handed only his second start under McCarthy.
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Villa boss Paul Lambert – who masterminded 5-1 and 4-1 victories over the Blues as Norwich manager – has made seven changes to his side following their 2-2 draw at Swansea.
The big news is that former Blues striker Darren Bent starts having only just returned to training following a hamstring injury. The same applies to Charles N’Zogbia – a key absentee for the Midlanders during a Christmas period which saw them concede 17 goals in four games.
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Front duo Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann have both dropped to the bench, with 21-year-old Jordan Bowery – a summer signing from Chesterfield – making his first start for the club.
The experienced Shay Given replaces Brad Guzan in goal.
– Report and reaction to follow.
ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Given; Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lichaj; Bannan, Delph, Albrighton, N’Zogbia; Bent, Bowery.
Subs: Guzan, Ireland, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann, Stevens, Carruthers.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Loach; Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Smith, Cresswell; Emmanuel-Thomas, Hyam, Reo-Coker, Martin; Chopra, Murphy.
Subs: Lee-Barrett, Chambers, Whight, Edwards, N’Daw, McLean, McGoldrick.