There’s something familiar about today’s FA Cup opponent. Aston Villa and Tottenham have some connections, and not just that Villa were one of the few remaining original Premier League members to not be relegated... until they did last season.
Spurs and Villa also have a right back in common — Alan Hutton, still playing for the Villains — as well as the shared commiseration of both having employed manager “Tactics” Tim Sherwood (he of the famed 59% win ratio).
These days, though, there’s not much in common between the two sides. Spurs are flying, winners of four straight matches, and are third in the Premier League. Villa are floundering, enduring a nightmare start to life in the Championship under Roberto DiMatteo before stabilizing under promotion specialist Steve Bruce. Villa are 12th in the table, not great but only seven points out of a promotion playoff spot. It might be a tall order for them to close the gap on such football luminaries as Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday, and Barnsley, but it’s also not out of the realm of the possible. That said, it sounds as though most Villa fans are resigned to at least one more year in England’s second tier.
Spurs are probably going to win today. They’re playing at White Hart Lane and even if they rest a few key players they have enough talent in their reserves to easily outclass anything Villa can throw at them. However, it’s never a good idea to discount the Magic of the FA Cup. That magic is a pain in the ass and can bite you there too. Spurs can’t take a win for granted.
Lineups will be posted when they are released by the clubs.
How to Watch
Date/time: Sunday, January 8, 2017, 4:00 p.m. (UK), 11:00 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, UK
Official: Mike Dean
TV: Fox Sports 1 (USA), BBC 1 (UK), Sportsnet World (Canada), ESPN2 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: Fox Sports Go / Fox Soccer2Go (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also often at BBC Radio London, BBC Radio 5 Live, and TalkSport
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