Wycombe Wanderers v Aston Villa: Garde not expecting easy ride


Aston Villa manager Remi Garde is taking nothing for granted as his Premier League strugglers visit Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup third round desperate to end a long winless run.

Villa are bottom of the Premier League and 11 points from safety having not won in the top flight since the opening day, their latest defeat coming at relegation rivals Sunderland.

Garde is still awaiting his fist taste of victory since arriving in November as Tim Sherwood's replacement and Saturday's trip to League Two Wycombe should provide the ideal opportunity.

However, Wycombe - beaten play-off finalists last term - are in good form this season, sitting sixth in the table after 24 games, and Garde is wary of succumbing to a shock.

"I am not expecting an easy match," former Lyon coach Garde said. "I know too much about this kind of game.

"When you play against teams like this, they are extremely motivated."

Alan Hutton is unlikely to feature because of a hamstring injury picked up in last weekend's 3-1 loss at the Stadium of Light, while Carlos Sanchez is struggling with a similar problem.

Gabriel Agbonlahor has not played since December 5 and is not expected to be involved as he continues to battle a back problem.

Adama Traore is out for up to 10 weeks after breaking a bone in his foot against Sunderland.

Wycombe have already pulled off one surprise result to reach the third round, following up a 4-0 win at Halifax Town with a 2-1 success at second-tier Millwall in the second round.

Their win at The Den was the start of a five-game unbeaten run that came to an end with a 2-0 home defeat to Morecambe last time out.

In their two previous competitive visits to Adams Park, Villa have recorded emphatic wins, winning 5-0 in the League Cup in 2003 and triumphing 8-3 in the same competition in 2005.

But Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth is confident they will provide a sterner test this time around.

He said: "I am sure whoever I put out there is going to be up for a glamorous FA Cup tie.

"With Wycombe Wanderers' fantastic FA Cup history, it would be great to be known as the side in 2016 to put in a good shift against a Premier League side."

Villa are seven-times winners of the competition, but have not etched their name onto the trophy since 1957, while Wycombe famously reached the semi-finals in 2000-01, losing to Liverpool.