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Carabao Cup

Home advantage 'could be key' for Villa

Dean Smith is expecting Villa Park to be rocking on Tuesday evening

27 January 2020

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith believes the club's fans can have a huge part to play in Tuesday's Carabao Cup Semi-Final second leg against Leicester City.

Villa secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the first leg to take back to Villa Park for the return fixture, taking the lead through Frederic Guilbert and defending resolutely for large parts of the game thereafter.

Speaking ahead of the second leg, Smith is expecting a fantastic atmosphere and has called on the Villa fans to help get them over the line.

"It’s really important [to be at home]," he told reporters. "I’ve been a spectator at a number of semi-final games at Villa Park and the atmosphere can be vibrant.

"It can certainly help our players and draw the ball towards the goal, especially from the Holte End.

"I’m really looking forward to the game and we’ve given ourselves a great chance by getting a draw at Leicester. Home advantage can certainly help us.

"That last-minute winner against Watford [in the league] has given everybody a lift and put a spring in their step. The players are certainly looking forward to it."

Villa were, of course, winning Play-Off Finalists at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, beating Derby County under the famous Wembley arch to secure promotion to the Premier League, and Smith would love a return to the home of football.

"It would be a massive thing," he added. "The football club have won this competition five times previously and we have a great history in this competition.

"To go and get to a major domestic cup final in my first full season would be magnificent. I know just from feeling how it was in last season’s Play-Off Final what a great place it can be to go."

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