Tottenham vs. Aston Villa / FA Cup – This pair of the third round of English FA Cup is also a duel between two teams which played in the same league several seasons ago but since Aston Villa was relegated to the Championship now we can see only Tottenham in the Premier League. After the latest streak of five wins the Spurs have moved up to the third place in the Premier League standings, while after 25 round the Villans are positioned around middle of the Championship standings, or more precisely at the 12th place. Let’s add that last year Tottenham won both their matches played in the Premier League, while two seasons ago each team won away. Begins: 08.01.2017 – 17:00 CET
However, now is absolutely everything on the Spurs’ side and by that everything but their new victory would be a great surprise. True, the Spurs have perhaps lost the psychological pressure to win after they won at their White Hart Lane in the latest championship match currently leading team in the Premier League Chelsea by 2-0, which at the same time ended incredible winning streak of the Blues of 13 consecutive victories. Besides, the Spurs have in that way introduced new dose of uncertainty in the race for the very top give that Chelsea has at the moment just five points more than second-placed Liverpool and seven more than Tottenham and Manchester City.
We have said in the introduction that was the fifth consecutive victories of the Spurs in the league, while before that they secured a place in the knockout phase of the Europa League after they won at home CSKA Moscow in the decisive match. We need to mention great form of young midfielder Alli, who scored even six goals in last three matches and will be probably starter now against Aston Villa, while forwards who had played against Chelsea could get chance to rest. Regarding absences, on the injured list is only midfielder Lamela.
Probable lineups Tottenham: Lloris – Trippier, Dier, Wimmer, Davies – Wanyama, Winks – Sissoko, Alli, Son – Janssen
We have said in the introduction that the team from Birmingham doesn’t compete anymore in the Premier League after a considerable time spent in it. According to what they showed so far in the Championship their express return in the Premier League can be hardly expected. Aston Vill had a very bad opening of the season but since experienced coach Steve Bruce took the helm in mid-October they started playing better and now just seven points separate them from positions that lead to the promotion play-off.
However, Aston Villa won just one point from last two rounds, when they drew at home with Leeds, while after that they suffered defeat away by Cardiff. It means that Bruce will probably make several changes in the team that will face Tottenham in the FA Cup. In the meantime two players left for the African Cup of Nations, Kodjiji and Ayewu, while from before Bruce cannot count on goalkeeper Steer and defenders Richards and de Laet.
Probable lineups Aston Villa: Gollini – Hutton, Elphick, Chester, Cissokho – Jedinak, Tshibola – Adomah, McCormack, Grealish – Agbonlahor
Tottenham – Aston Villa PICK
Of course that the Spurs are regarded as absolute favourites in this match but on the other hand they could be overly relaxed after great victory over Chelsea in the championship, which the tough guests from Birmingham can use to introduce a bit of uncertainty into result that will decide who goes in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Pick: under 3 goals
Odds: 1.81 at ladbrokes (down to 1.74 can be played)