Aston Villa are one step away from Wembley as they host Leicester City this evening for the right to get to the Carabao Cup final, and Dean Smith’s decision to hand Mbwana Samatta his debut has gone down well amongst the Villa faithful.
The 27-year-old is a recognised striker, something that the Midlanders appear to have lacked this season, but according to The Guardian, Smith has guarded against supporters expecting too much from the player too quickly.
Particularly given that his previous clubs have included Tout Puissant Mazembe and Simba SC.
A debut for @Samagoal77_! ?
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 28, 2020
A big, powerful front man, Samatta did score for Genk earlier this season in the Champions League so though he may take a while to settle into his role at Villa Park, he’s unlikely to be overawed by the pressure on his shoulders to deliver.
Anwar El Ghazi will be expected to be a regular supply line for Samatta against the Foxes, with Jack Grealish’s creativity in the midfield key for the hosts to open up the passing lanes.
Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause will undoubtedly be happy that Leicester’s Jamie Vardy is only fit enough for the bench, but Villa underestimate Brendan Rodgers’ side at their peril.
With Smith naming a strong starting XI, the Villains will be hoping that home advantage gives them the edge on the night, with these fans below right behind their new signing.
— AVFCchats ??? (@AVFCchats) January 28, 2020
Thinking about samatta debut https://t.co/i9JSiVFUwW
— Dr Pele Jr (II) (@PeleAlphaChalie) January 28, 2020
Special occasion tonight under the lights at Villa Park, I think it will be a draw and penalties.
— AstonViIIaFan (@AstonViIIaFan) January 28, 2020
Can’t wait to see Harambee stars striker Mbwana Samatta debut for AVFC, tz pic.twitter.com/LkBvSvRsuQ
— Nyamira Finest (@Mongare1990) January 21, 2020