The Second City derby takes place on Tuesday night in front of the Sky Sports cameras, kicking off what’s expected to be a pulsating round of Capital One Cup action.Bragging rights will be on the line at Villa Park in the 7.45pm kick-off, as well as an all-important place in Round 4 of the Capital One Cup.
Encounters between Aston Villa and Birmingham City date back to the late 1800s, and the latest instalment will be the 121st meeting of the rivals.
Villa lead the head-to-head with 51 wins compared to Birmingham’s 38, while they’ve played out 31 draws.
Their most recent meeting, in January 2011, was a 1-1 Premier League draw, and they also met in the League Cup during that campaign.
Blues won the Round 5 tie 2-1 with Nikola Zigic bagging an 84th-minute winner, and they went on to lift the famous Trophy at Wembley by seeing off Arsenal 2-1 in in the final.
It was a similar story in the 1993/94 League Cup, as Villa came out on top over two legs against Birmingham in the Second Round, before going on to beat Manchester United in the final.
Thirty years earlier, in 1963, the Second City rivals clashed in the League Cup final, and it was Birmingham who prevailed, 3-1 over two legs.
In the media
Birmingham City winger Demarai Gray is a player well-versed with the Second City derby, having faced Aston Villa at various youth levels whilst rising through the ranks.
Tuesday is his first senior derby against Villa, though, and it’s one he is relishing.
"Even at that age it’s a local derby, so we were at it and it was intense. We were all excited, as they’re more aggressive games and it meant a lot to us young kids.
"Personally it’s great for me and out of all the games this is definitely the one I want to play in. I’m raring to go.
"We’re obviously going to be the underdogs as the Championship team. They’re a good side but it’s the cup and anything can happen."
Read more: Birmingham City’s Demarai Gray confident ahead of Second City derby
Aston Villa come into the game after back-to-back defeats, but boss Tim Sherwood says the team have to look forward.
And he firmly believes that he has a squad of players that can cope with the demands that the Second City derby presents.
"We tell them that this means an awful lot - and it's not just a normal game. You can only do it by talking to them.
"It will be intense. It's a big game and one I think they can handle.
"I am telling them it means an awful lot to the fans and it means an awful lot to the dressing room."
Read more: Sherwood on clear focus, Rowett and handling derby pressure
Don’t miss it!
Sky Sports’ coverage from Villa Park starts at 7pm, with kick-off at 7.45pm. We’ll also be providing updates on social media, on Twitter via @CapitalOne_Cup and on Facebook via Facebook.com/LeagueCup.