FA Cup: Spurs (v) Villa – An optimists outlook for getting past the 3rd Round.

Sorry, did I say an optimists outlook? …

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So the FA Cup is back.  *tumbleweed

I know, I know.  Our last triumph in 1957 seems like an awfully long time ago.

Well, it was a long time ago.  However, despite not actually clasping our hands around that fine trophy since, there have still been great singular moments.

Even in recent times.

Think positive…

About Beating Spurs

It is possible, but so much will rest on team selections.

Can or will Spurs want to risk their Premier League campaign?

Is Bruce able to field Villa’s “best” first 11? [I appreciate that’s dodgier ground…]

We all have romantic, sentimental ideals about the FA Cup which most clubs no longer prescribe to.  Is this the season to be harbouring the hopes and dreams of a Cup run, Wembley and lifting the cup for the first time in 60 years?

On the flip side, could winning fixtures like this awaken our football club and set it on a path towards a return to the top flight of English football?

The Facts

  • Spurs have won 4/5 in last of all competitions.
  • Villa have lost 8 out of last 9 against Tottenham.
  • Hosts are 7 points off Premier League leaders (Chelsea) whom they beat midweek.
  • Villa’s away form remains dismal. Just 3 wins since August 2015.
  • Hosts remain unbeaten at home this season.
  • Sam Johnstone expected to make debut in goal having joined from Man United.
  • Pochettino is expected to rest a number of key players.
  • Villa top scorer, Jonathan Kodjia, is away on international duty.
  • Mike Dean will be the referee.  *GULP*

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In our favour?

Perhaps the element of surprise?

Hell, I’d be surprised to see Gabby again at White Hart Lane after his “7 touch” career ending performance.  Well, career ending everywhere but Villa Park.  Bafflingly, given Bruce’s determination to pick him and our lack of striking options, its more than likely he’ll feature.

The key to any success is unfortunately rooted in Tottenham’s likely intention to rotate players for the fixture.  This could obviously go one of two ways, but may enable us to have a fighting chance of progressing to the 4th round (or not disgracing ourselves on TV….again).

If we have one advantage it’s that we are not as bad as we were last season.  That’s a positive, right?

Predictions?

You can call this one.

UTV.

TRAVEL

Fans should be aware that there are planned strikes severely impacting transport after the game.

Villa have relayed a statement from Spurs’ official site here.

Travel disruption, updates and alternatives can be found via the TFL website here.

The Tube is likely to stop running at 6pm – minutes after the game finishes.

Alternative ways to get away from White Hart Lane :

“LOCAL BUSES

  • Local bus routes 149, 259, 349 and W3 all run adjacent to the stadium at 5-7 minute intervals
  • Due to road closures in place for approximately 30 minutes post-match to assist pedestrian flow, the bus routes divert immediately post-match, with the nearest bus stops at the junction of the High Road and White Hart Lane and also at the junction of the High Road and Bruce Grove
  • OVERGROUND TRAINS

    • Two trains per hour will run between London Liverpool Street and Waltham Cross and will call at Tottenham Hale
    • Planned Network Rail engineering works taking place in the Cheshunt area means that there will be no Abellio Greater Anglia services at Northumberland Park station”

Where can I watch the game?

BBC 1 (Available in HD)

Kick of time: 4pm – 8th January 2017

You can watch the game Online via the BBC iPlayer app.

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