Plymouth’s youngsters travel to Villa Park in the cup
PLYMOUTH Argyle under-23s take on Premier League Cup holders Aston Villa tonight (7pm).
And there is extra excitement for the Pilgrims because the third of their six Group F games is taking place at Villa Park.
One of the most famous football stadia in the country, Villa Park has a capacity of more than 42,000 seats.
Argyle assistant manager Paul Wotton said: “It will be a brilliant experience for the lads, and Aston Villa are decent as well, as you would expect them to be.
“Villa Park is such an iconic stadium in English football. It’s a fantastic chance for them to play at a great ground.”
Villa began their defence of the Premier League Cup with an 8-0 thrashing of Bristol City at the start of October.
Callum O’Hare, 20, scored a hat-trick, while 19-year-old Harvey Knibbs netted twice.
Whatever the strength of the side that Villa put out against Argyle it is sure to possess plenty of talented prospects.
Wotton said: “You never know in development football what sort of side you are going to play. It can be anything from 16s to 23s.
“But that’s irrelevant. I’m sure our lads will go up there and give a good account of themselves.”
The likes of Michael Cooper, Ryan Law, Michael Peck, Alex Battle and Alex Fletcher are set to be involved for the Pilgrims against Villa.
Wotton said: “With no disrespect to the (South West) Peninsula League, it’s a million miles away from that.
“You are playing against good quality opposition at a fantastic football stadium. It will be a great night for them.”
Meanwhile, Yann Songo’o is expected to be fit for Plymouth Argyle’s FA Cup second round clash against Oxford United at Home Park on Saturday.
The 27-year-old was a doubt before the 2-0 defeat away to Shrewsbury Town in League One on Tuesday because of a groin injury.
Songo’o ended up playing at the New Meadow, but appeared to aggravate the problem in the second half. However, assistant manager Paul Wotton was hopeful Songo’o would be available for selection.
“I think Yann will be okay for Saturday,” Wotton told Plymouth Live.
The versatile Songo’o has been playing at centre-back alongside Niall Canavan over recent Argyle matches.
Often used as a midfielder in the past, Songo’o has been pressed into service in defence because Ryan Edwards has had a chest infection and Scott Wootton has a thigh injury.
Songo’o has made a total of 20 starts and two substitute appearances this season.