Why Villa must drop Brad Guzan for the Carling Cup final

Brad Guzan has played every round in goal for Aston Villa and been a huge factor in their progress to the Carling Cup final.

But I firmly believe Villa manager Martin O'Neill should drop the American shot-stopper for the final against Manchester United on Sunday.

Guzan has impressed this term for Villa in the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.

And the star, signed from MLS side Chivas in August 2008, appears to have a huge future ahead of him.

But if O'Neill is deadly serious about winning on Sunday then the more experienced choice of Brad Friedel is surely the right option.

It would be harsh on Guzan who has already spoken about his desire to play at Wembley.

The 25-year-old was the key reason Villa won at Sunderland in the fourth round on penalties.

But veteran Friedel, 38, would be a safer bet for the big occasion against United in front of a capacity crowd and the cameras.

Friedel has been brilliant this season and has been arguably the best keeper in the Premier League in the last decade.

O'Neill believes he has raised his game to new heights this term due to Guzan pushing for a first team spot.

And Friedel already has the experience of playing in a League Cup winning side for Blackburn in 2002 against Tottenham.

By contrast Guzan is totally unproven on the big stage.

He has in fact looked increasingly shaky for Villa in the League Cup as the competition has progressed.

He got the nod to play in the semi-final against Blackburn but let in four goals in the second leg which was 6-4.

So if would be harsh, but Friedel has to play on Sunday and I expect him to.

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williamhill.com

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