Aston Villa: projected lineup to face Tottenham Hotspur

Jul 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane (18) runs on the field during the second half of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick
Jul 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane (18) runs on the field during the second half of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick /
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Aston Villa travel to White Hart Lane in 3rd round FA Cup actions. Can the claret and blue defeat one of England’s best clubs?

Let’s preface this piece by starting off with the obvious: This is a ridiculously hard draw for Aston Villa; playing in London against one of the Premier League’s best clubs – who, in addition, happen to be in excellent form.

However, Aston Villa have several advantages of their own. Tottenham are recovering from a Wednesday evening match where they defeated Chelsea 2-0 courtesy of two Dele Alli headers.

Aston Villa had a whole week to prepare for the match, whereas Tottenham had three days. Moreover, Spurs’ manager Mauricio Pochettino is likely to rotate his squad heavily after a congested Christmas fixture schedule.

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Not that it should help too much; Tottenham’s squad depth, including those in the youth ranks, is quite remarkable.

Aston Villa might get a breather from the likes of Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane, but will still face quality competition.

Winger Josh Onomah, American central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, and midfielder Harry Winks should all be expected to start from the opening whistle.

ASTON VILLA PROJECTED XI (4-3-3): Johnstone; Hutton, Chester, Baker, Amavi; Jedinak, Tshibola, Bacuna; Adomah, Agbonlahor, Grealish.

SUBSTITUTES: Bunn, Elphick, Cissokho, Westwood, Gardner, Green, McCormack,

New loan signing Sam Johnstone may get the start in goal. A warm-up match before the all-important league matches would help him get used to playing with his teammates.

It will be interesting to watch which goalkeeper gets the bench spot / start if Johnstone does not. If Pierluigi Gollini gets dropped completely, rumors will circulate on his Aston Villa future surely.

Steve Bruce could elect to rest the fullbacks, but with nearly a full week before and after FA Cup, he brings the “A-team.”

Aaron Tshibola impressed in the loss to Cardiff; he gets the start over Ashley Westwood and Gary Gardner.

Gabby starts up-top with Jack Grealish and Albert Adomah supporting his flanks.

Kickoff is 11:00AM Eastern Time and LIVE on Fox Sports 1 for U.S. viewers.