Hey, we get to play some football! After last week's cancelled match in Blackpool and some mid-week grumblings about snowstorms in Birmingham, I thought I was going to have to check into a clinic for footy withdrawal symptoms. Instead, it's game on from Villa Park and the lineups sure are interesting. Without any further ado...
Tottenham Hotspur lineup (4-4-1-1): Gomes / Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Kaboul, Hutton / Bale, Modric, Palacios, Lennon / van der Vaart / Defoe
Aston Villa lineup (4-4-2): Friedel / Warnock, Cuellar, Collins, Lichaj / Downing, Delph, Hogg, Albrighton / Agbonlahor, Heskey
Jermain Defoe as a lone striker is a pretty interesting choice. He's not the traditional center forward in this setup, but I think that Harry was obviously more concerned with just getting his best players on the field. Fabian Delph for Villa is a really curious choice, as he has just come back from a serious injury. Nigel Reo-Coker and Barry Bannan are fit, so it's odd that Gerard Houlier has opted to start Jonathan Hogg and Delph in the middle. Some people might pick out the Bale-Lichaj matchup as a big positive for us. Lichaj is a talented player who has the athletic ability to stick with Bale, but he's got minimal experience at this point and he might struggle. It wouldn't be surprising to see Houlier come up with some kind of specific tactical adjustment to deal with Welsh Jesus.
Kickoff is at 12:30 ET on Fox Soccer Channel in the United States. We'll be right here the whole way.