Tottenham Hotspur welcome Aston Villa back to White Hart Lane on Sunday for the FA Cup Third Round. Spurs are the major favourites to move on to the fourth round but Aston Villa are looking to cause an upset. The lilywhites come into this game in strong form after beating the league leaders Chelsea 2-0 and also, collecting the maximum 15 points in their last 5 league games. The same isn’t said about their opposition Aston Villa who currently sit in mid-table in the Championship after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City. But, there is a slight hope for the visitors as Tottenham have only kept one clean sheet in their last nine FA Cup games. Aston Villa’s boss and ex-premier league manager Steve Bruce believes Tottenham are one of the best in Europe but, hopes to catch them on an off day.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more difficult first game this weekend at White Hart Lane. Tottenham are one of the best teams in this country – and probably in Europe. But, we have to hope we can play to our best and catch Spurs on an off day.”
However, the head-to-head statistics doesn’t go in favour of the visitors as Spurs have won eight of the last nine meetings in all competitions. On the other hand, the two previous third round meetings between Spurs and Villa both ended in wins for the visitors in 1903 and in a replay in 1992.
The team news coming in for tomorrow’s game is fantastic for Spurs as only Erik Lamela is out injured who is still suffering from a suspected hip problem. But, the home side are most likely to be changed from the game at home against Chelsea with some players being rested due to the busy Christmas schedule and rotation of the squad. Spurs Boss Mauricio Pochettino confirms changes may be made but he has reflected on how everyone needs to be trusted and are important in our success and also, failure.
“It’s an important competition, the FA Cup. I’m sure we will make some changes. But I would like to go far. We need to trust all our players. It’s a collective and we must make everyone feel important and part of our success and failure.”
Aston Villa also, don’t have any injury worries as Mile Jedinak has recovered from an illness. Furthermore, their newly loan signing from Manchester United, Sam Johnstone could make his debut between the posts.
Mauricio Pochettino see’s this game as an important as Spurs need to win trophies at the club not only for the players but for the fans. He believes they need to take each game as it comes. Tottenham are also, looking like they are strong contenders for the Premier League Trophy if their unbeaten form continues and their young players continue to shine. This week Pochettino has promised how if Spurs were to win the league he would do the tango in the middle of the pitch at White Hart Lane with Chairman Daniel Levy. Something to hope for Spurs fans?