Why Westwood, Gil and Clark will be key for Aston Villa against Birmingham

Taking a look at some of Aston Villa's most important players heading into the match against Birmingham City.

Aston Villa take on Birmingham City in the third round of the Capital One Cup this evening and Tim Sherwood’s side will be desperate to secure the victory after a poor recent run of form.

Villa have already lost one local derby after going down 1-0 against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, but now they take on Birmingham in a cup competition they will have aspirations of excelling in.

Here we take a look at three Villa players who will be key in their upcoming fixture:

Ciaran Clark

Since Joleon Lescott’s arrival at Villa Park, fellow centre-back Ciaran Clark has had to make do with a place on the bench. But the 25-year-old should be back in the starting line-up against Birmingham.

Clark is an outstanding defender and his form and importance last season means it is surprising that he is not currently a first-choice.

He is well aware of the importance of getting a victory against their fierce rivals so expect him to give his all in pursuit of the win.

Ashley Westwood

The battle in midfield will be vital and Ashley Westwood will be key in ensuring Villa emerge victorious.

There have been plenty of changes in that area this season but Westwood remains integral and one of the unsung heroes of this Villa side will no doubt continue to do what he always does.

Carles Gil

Carles Gil has been challenged to score more goals this season and having now returned to Sherwood’s first-team the winger could be the player to unlock Birmingham’s defence.

Gil scored in the recent match against Leicester and another strike this evening would go down a treat.

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