Tottenham v Aston Villa: Spurs can claim clean knockout

Mauricio Pochettino can witness another win to nil
Mauricio Pochettino can witness another win to nil
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Dave Tindall says Spurs can shut Aston Villa out and make it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup...


"The equation is simple; Spurs have conceded the fewest number of home goals (five) in the Premier League while Aston Villa have scored the fewest number of away goals (seven) in the Championship."

Back Tottenham Win to Nil @ 19/20

Tottenham v Aston Villa
Sunday 8 January, 16:00
Live on BBC 1/Betfair Live Video


Tottenham

After the high of beating Chelsea in midweek, this could potentially be a trappy tie for Mauricio Pochettino's men.

Tottenham were superb against the Blues and the natural comedown from that 2-0 win along with Pochettino almost certainly rotating his starting XI should put punters on alert that this won't necessarily be an absolute cruise for the hosts.

As a clue to his line-up, in round three last year he sent out this team at home to Leicester: Vorm, Rose, Alderweireld, Trippier, Wimmer, Son, Dier, Chadli, Eriksen, Onomah, Caroll.

Harry Kane and Dele Alli were on the bench that day and it was the latter who rescued a replay for Tottenham by coming on in the 68th minute and grabbing an equaliser a minute from time.

The Argentine will hope he won't have to send for the cavalry again this time although he's likely to have them on the subs list just in case.

As a squad, Spurs should be full of confidence after making it five straight wins and seven in eight in all comps with that deserved success over Chelsea. It took them to third in the table and they're one of the country's in-form teams. Anything other than a win here will come as a shock even if several of the big guns are rested.

One final note. In Pochettino's two seasons at White Hart Lane, Spurs have twice crashed out of the FA Cup at home (Crystal Palace in round five last season and Leicester in round four in 2014/15) so that's another little warning sign although both those defeats were to Premier League sides.


Aston Villa

Villa sit 12th in the Championship although their season needs to be viewed in two parts. Before Steve Bruce came in to sort the mess out, the Villans had won just one of their opening 12 games.

Since Bruce arrived, they've won seven of 14, drawn four others and lost just three. In other words, it's been a vast improvement.

Bruce, of course, has history in this tournament having guided Hull to the final against Arsenal in 2014. The ultimate glory beckoned when the Tigers went 2-0 up after just eight minutes of that Wembley showdown before the Gunners fought back to win 3-2.

Arsenal also knocked out Hull in round five last season but only after Bruce had taken his team to north London and held out for a 0-0 draw in the initial tie. A good omen for this clash perhaps?

That said, although Bruce has made a big impact at Villa, their struggles on the road have continued.

Villa have lost three of their last four away games (0-2 at Leeds, 0-1 at Norwich and 0-1 at Cardiff) and they're also the lowest scorers in the Championship on their travels with just seven goals.

For the neutral, it's a shame this game isn't at Villa Park as Bruce's side are the only team in the division who can boast an unbeaten home record.


Match Odds

Spurs are just 1.331/3 to see off Villa in 90 minutes and book their place in round four. Villa are [12.0} to spring a shock while the draw is 5.79/2.

The visitors have made the fourth round in seven of the last eight seasons but their record against Spurs is woeful. The last 16 meetings in all competitions show 12 wins for Tottenham, three draws and a single victory for Villa.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Spurs have a superb home record with eight wins and two draws from their 10 matches but only 40% of their Premier League games at White Hart Lane have featured over 2.5 goals.

They've picked up the pace more recently though with three against West Ham, five unanswered goals against Swansea and three against Hull.

You have to wonder how much help Villa will be in this market though given their inability to score on the road at Championship level.

Over is the clear favourite at 1.695/7 but Under could be the play at 2.3811/8.


Tottenham to Win to Nil

Backing Spurs at a big-odds on price doesn't excite but getting nearly even money for a Tottenham win with a clean sheet definitely has appeal.

The equation is simple; Spurs have conceded the fewest number of home goals (five) in the Premier League while Aston Villa have scored the fewest number of away goals (seven) in the Championship.

It might not be Tottenham's first-choice team on show but Pochettino knows how to set up a defence and a second-string Spurs back four managed a clean sheet in the 5-0 win over League One Gillingham in the League Cup earlier in the campaign.

To give that an extra little bit of context, only three teams have scored more away goals than Gillingham in League One this season.


Ref watch

Mike Dean is back on your TV screens again despite the huge criticism he received for sending off West Ham's Sofiane Feghouli against Manchester United. The red card has since been rescinded.

One eye-catching stat is that Dean has refereed Spurs three times this season and shown a red card to an opposition player on each occasion - Sunderland's Adnan Januzaj, West Ham's Winston Reid and Southampton's Nathan Redmond.

Overall, Dean has shown a red card in four of his last seven matches.


Recommended Bet

Tottenham to Win to Nil @ 19/20


Opta stat

Spurs have lost just one of their last 16 encounters in all competitions against Aston Villa (W12 D3), winning eight of the last nine.


Dave Tindall's Premier League P/L, 2016/17

Staked: 29pts
Returned: 29.69pts
P/L: +0.69pts

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