WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) previews Aston Villa's last trip to White Hart Lane. How will this now mid-table Championship club fare against a young Spurs side full of confidence?
Spurs v Aston Villa| Sunday 16:00 | BBC One
There’s not normally anything special about Spurs hosting Aston Villa. It’s just a fixture we all expect to see in the calendar somewhere but this season it’s taken the FA Cup for these two famous old clubs to come together.
Villa’s relegation to the second tier in May was surrounded with sadness. We had lost another stalwart of English football to the Premier League trapdoor and many people feared that Villa wouldn’t recover quickly, that they had the potential to go A.W.O.L in the manner that Leeds have since the Millennium.
Those fears could still be realised.
The Claret and Blue sit mid-table in the Championship at present but in late October they’d won just one of 12 games and looked in big trouble. It’s taken them time to adjust and, whilst things are looking rosier right now, they are still heavily reliant on their home form.
Villa are the only team in the division not to have lost at home yet with a W6-D6-L0 record but on their travels they are shoddy, scoring just seven times in 13 away games and winning just twice. If they bring that kind of form to White Hart Lane they will be punished.
Spurs Looking Sharp
Tottenham are cruising right now. In midweek they ended Chelsea’s 13 game winning run to make it seven wins out of eight in all competitions and the manner of those victories has been particularly impressive.
Mauricio Pochettino is being worshipped from people across the footballing sphere and rightly so. His faith in youth product has been rewarded time and time again. That ties nicely in with the FA Cup where he’s sure to give the likes of Josh Onomah and Harry Winks more game time.
Kieran Trippier, Kevin Wimmer, Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko should also feature but those are players with plenty of top flight experience so the transition will be seamless. Another problem Villa face is Toby Alderweireld who is likely to play again to continue his comeback from injury.
Son Heung-Min and Vincent Janssen are expected to play up front and those two complemented each other nicely earlier in the season when Harry Kane was unavailable.
One Way Traffic
The Villans look unlikely to trouble Spurs defence in my opinion. Rudy Gestede has just left for Middlesbrough and Ross McCormack is not on his game this season.
Outside of those two, Jordan Ayew has never looked like settling in English football and although Jonathan Kodija has nine goals this campaign the chances of him breaching the best defence in the country seem slim.
Tottenham could do with a run in this competition. They are out of the Champions League and EFL Cup and although a crack at the title isn’t impossible it still seems unlikely. Lifting this trophy would be brilliant for Spurs in their final season at White Hart Lane.
I’m going to opt for Tottenham to win this without too much effort. They are 11/10 with BetVictor to win ‘to nil’ and for a club that is buzzing right now and has a wonderful crop of youth players to field I think that’s a strong bet.
Tottenham v Aston Villa – Tottenham to win ‘to nil' (11/10 Betvictor)