Here is how the two teams will line up for tonight's Capital One Cup third round tie at Villa Park...
Aston Villa XI: Brad Guzan, Leandro Bacuna, Micah Richards (c), Joleon Lescott, Jordan Amavi, Ciaran Clark, Jordan Veretout, Ashley Westwood, Gabby Agbonlahor, Rudy Gestede, Scott Sinclair
Subs: Mark Bunn, Alan Hutton Kieran Richardson, Jordan Ayew, Carlos Sanchez, Carles Gil, Jack Grealish
Birmingham XI: Tomasz Kuszczak, Paul Caddis, Jonathan Spector, Michael Morrison (c), Jonathan Grounds, Maikel Kieftenbeld, Stephen Gleeson, David Davis, Demarai Gray, Jacques Maghoma, Clayton Donaldson
Subs: Adam Legzdins, Paul Robinson, Viv Solomon-Otabor, Jon Toral, Andrew Shinnie, Shane Lowry, Nicolai Brock-Madsen
Aston Villa will be looking to kick-start their season tonight when they host bitter rivals Birmingham City in the third round of the Capital One Cup.
Tim Sherwood’s side are off to their worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign after taking just four points from their first six games and are without a win since the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth.
Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to fellow Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion dropped them down to 17th-place in the table and another derby defeat at Villa Park would almost certainly lead to talk of a crisis.
Birmingham will not prove easy opposition either, having lost just one of their opening seven Championship fixtures this term to leave them sitting just outside the play-off places with a game in hand over the teams around them.
Villa, who beat fourth-tier Notts County 5-3 after extra-time in the second round, have also been knocked out by lower-division opponents in two of the last three seasons - Leyton Orient and Bradford City, giving Gary Rowett’s men plenty of reason to be optimistic heading into tonight’s tie.
The last encounter between the two teams saw them play out a 1-1 league draw at St Andrew’s in January 2011 but they also met at the quarter-final stage of the League Cup just a few weeks before, when Nikola Zigic’s late strike handed Birmingham a 2-1 win.
The Blues went on to win the competition under Alex McLeish, who ended up managing their rivals the following season, but were also relegated from the top-flight a few months later and have not been back since.
Their record at Villa Park leaves a lot to be desired too, having won 14 and drawn 15 out of the 57 games on their neighbours’ turf, with their last victory coming back in 2004.
Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has been a regular participant in the Second City derby since that result and, while he has not scored in his last 13 appearances, he has recorded four goals in his past six games against Birmingham.
The long-serving forward keeps his place in Sherwood's line-up for tonight, while the towering Rudy Gestede comes into the side to lead the line along with Leandro Bacuna, Ciaran Clark and Jordan Veretout.
20-year-old Jack Grealish has to settle for a spot on the bench, however, while Birmingham's own hotshot prospect Demarai Gray starts for the visitors behind Clayton Donaldson, who will be looking to get the better of Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott.