Boss Paul Lambert today insisted his Villa stars can gatecrash England’s World Cup party and make it to Brazil.
The claret and blues chief reckons in-form Fabian Delph and Gabby Agbonlahor can grab their chance for a shock inclusion.
Agbonlahor earned the last of his three caps in 2009 while Delph is yet to make a senior appearance after four under-21 games.
Lambert has led the calls for the duo to be selected and believes they can be the surprise packages to make Roy Hodgson’s squad next year.
He said: “Somebody will pop up from somewhere and sneak in. That’s what happens in football.
“You can get injuries between now and the end of the season. Things can happen. You’ve just got to hope your players are on their game and they get looked at or have an opportunity. It’s a big season for every English player in terms of getting to this World Cup.
“There’s one or two who are playing really well. You tend to find the ones who got you there will form the majority of the squad, but you do get one or two who do surface from somewhere. If they can do it, then great.”
Villa host Tottenham on Sunday and face in-form Andros Townsend who inspired England to beat Montenegro and Poland in his first to international games.
He grabbed a debut goal in the 4-1 win over Montenegro before impressing in the 2-0 victory over Poland but Lambert refused to join in the hype.
“You can’t jump on the bandwagon. It’s only two games. Gareth Bale did it over a number of years – that’s too much pressure to put on players,” he said.
“If someone plays two good games they are a world beater but Tottenham have an array of players.
“I’ve not seen much of the lad but when I have he has played well.”
Townsend will be joined in Brazil by Christian Benteke, Brad Guzan and Ron Vlaar who all helped Belgium, the USA and Holland qualify and Lambert hailed their achievement.
He said: “It’s good for them, first and foremost. It’s good for any player to get to a World Cup. The lads that are in contention will hopefully stay fit and healthy and will go. For their countries it’s great and a great honour to go to the World Cup, especially in Brazil which I think will be a great tournament.
“If the lads stay fit and healthy and give me a ticket for the games, I’m quite happy. And my flights - that’s the least they can do.”
But Lambert insisted he does not expect the World Cup hype to affect Villa ahead of Sunday’s visit of Tottenham.
He said: “They’ve got nothing to prove to me. They’re experienced lads. In their own minds they might think ‘this is a big year’ but it was always going to be a big year for any player fighting to get into a World Cup squad. It’s a massive year.”