Mark Delaney to lead Aston Villa in FA Cup tie

Mark Delaney leads Aston Villa tonight against Liverpool Pembrokeshire product Mark Delaney will be in the dug out for Aston Villa’s FA Cup third round clash with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool outfit at Villa Park tonight.

Delaney, 44, whose dad Mike, brother Nigel and nephews Scott and Matthew are heavily involved with Goodwick United, live in the Fishguard area, will oversee a team of under-23 and under-18 players against Liverpool after Dean Smith’s team have been decimated due to coronavirus tests.

In all, 14 Villa staff - including nine players - have tested positive.

Smith, his coaching staff and his 25-man Premier League squad are now self-isolating for a period of ten days with former Villa and Wales star Delaney takes his place in the Villa Park hot seat tonight alongside assistant George Boateng.

The pair - who made 319 appearances for Villa combined during the late 90s, early 2000s - have been in dialogue with Smith, academy manager Mark Harrison and under-18s assistant Sean Verity ahead of filing their team sheet for tonight's cup clash.

Delaney said: “I have been at the club 21 years. The way I understand the club is the way I put into the players. You give 100% for this club. You wear your heart on your sleeve for this club and you will get your rewards and fans and family will appreciate that.”