Played for both: Aston Villa v West Brom FA Cup special
Gardner, Richardson, Sinclair. No, it’s not one of those legal firms that thinks you may be entitled to compensation, but a hat-trick of names who could turn out against their former clubs in the FA Cup quarter-final between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.
Coral make Tim Sherwood’s side, who beat the Baggies 2-1 in Premier League action as recently as Tuesday, narrow 8/5 favourites for victory again, and 10/1 shots to record that precise scoreline once more.
That aforementioned trio are not alone in having played for both Villa and Albion, with the likes of current Hull City captain Curtis Davies, Kevin Phillips and Liam Ridgewell also doing so in recent years.
Ahead of the cup clash, our football experts profile this threesome, what they offered to their previous employers and will they be a thorn in their old teammates’ sides?
A central midfielder by trade, Villa academy graduate Gardner has also done a job down the right-hand side of football pitches for Birmingham City and Sunderland. He returned to the West Midlands last summer, arriving at The Hawthorns on a free transfer.
Since returning to the Second City, Gardner, who has an eye for spectacular strikes, has already come back to haunt Villa, netting the sole goal of a 1-0 Baggies home win back in December. He is a 6/1 shot to net again anytime, while West Brom are 7/4 for an away victory.
Relive another incredible Gardner goal, in the FA Cup for Sunderland against Southampton in February 2014, below:
Left-footer Richardson (8/1 in the anytime market here) was sent off as Albion beat Villa at The Hawthorns before Christmas. He helped the Baggies amazingly avoid relegation under Bryan Robson during a loan spell in 2005, even though they started the final day of that season propping up the Premier League table.
Scoring in a 2-0 win over Portsmouth, Richardson helped to seal West Brom’s safety. Richardson also counts Sunderland and Fulham among his former clubs, having spent time in both West Ham and Manchester United’s academies. His versatility at left back, further up the flank or in mdfield, has served several top-flight teams well.
Baggies fans and punters alike can relive that final day drama from 2004/05 with second half highlights, including Richardson’s goal, below:
Winger Sinclair struggled to make an impact at big clubs Chelsea and Manchester City, but starred for Swansea, helping them earn Premier League promotion by hitting a hat-trick in the 2011 Championship play-off final.
Loaned out from the Etihad to Albion last season, he failed to score in 11 appearances across all competitions. Undeterred by this, Sinclair then joined Villa for the rest of this term in January, and there are already signs that Tim Sherwood is restoring his confidence.
Netting in two of his last three home games, Sinclair is 11/4 to be on target against West Brom anytime in the cup. Watch his memorable play-off winning treble again below: