Aston Villa midfielder Callum O’Hare will face Premier League opposition in the EFL Cup tonight. The 21-year-old, who is on loan at Coventry City, will be preparing for the club’s EFL Cup clash with Watford.
The Hornets host Coventry after Mark Robins’ men beat Exeter City 4-1 in the last round. Coventry are unbeaten in the league and are taking well over 3,000 fans to Vicarage Road. An upset could be on the cards with Watford suffering three defeats in three games this season.
But Aston Villa fans will be less concerned by the outcome of this game and more interested in O’Hare’s performance. This game is the perfect test of his ability to mix with Premier League players.
Will O’Hare play?
O’Hare came off the bench in Coventry’s 1-0 win over Gillingham last weekend. After joining in the week, Robins understandably avoided putting O’Hare straight into the starting line-up.
The exciting midfield talent will be hoping for more game time tonight. He might not be selected to start as Robins is taking the cup seriously but he should get time as a substitute at the very least. Coventry have Jamie Allen out injured so O’Hare is next in line for a midfield spot.
Tonight’s game acts as Litmus test
Tonight’s match and atmosphere will serve O’Hare well if he plans to break into the Aston Villa team in the future. The away end will be packed, the quality of football will be high and Coventry will be gunning for a shock.
If O’Hare can stand up and produce some magic in the EFL Cup, he will catch the eye. It will show Aston Villa just how ready O’Hare is to play against Premier League standard players.
Aston Villa should expect some cobwebs
It would be unfair to judge O’Hare entirely on his performance tonight. In the game against Gillingham, he showed some signs of promise but is yet to hit top gear. This will come with regular playing time and growing familiar with his team-mates.
O’Hare cannot lose tonight really. If he impresses, he enhances his chances of starting at the weekend. If not, then he needs to get back to the training ground and work hard to get things right.