Mauricio Pochettino set to make changes as Tottenham host Aston Villa

Posted Sunday, January 08, 2017 by PA

Erik Lamela is Tottenham's only absentee but manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to rest a number of key players for Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at home to Aston Villa.

Lamela is struggling to shake off a troublesome hip problem and has not played for Spurs since their 2-1 EFL Cup defeat to Liverpool on October 25.

Vincent Janssen, Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies and Harry Winks are among those likely to come in against Villa but Pochettino will still be keen to progress in a tournament that has seen Spurs reach only one quarter-final in six years.

Last season the Tottenham manager promised to sing a duet with chairman Daniel Levy if his team won the FA Cup and he made a similar pledge ahead of this year's competition.

"It cannot be the same because I think it is bad luck to say if we win we will sing on the pitch with Daniel," Pochettino said.

"Maybe we find another challenge no? Maybe I try to dance. Why not?

"Anything you ask me, if we win it or the Premier League I will do in the middle of the pitch, no problem."

Sky Bet Championship side Aston Villa could hand a debut to goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who has joined on loan from Manchester United.

The 23-year-old will remain at Villa Park for the rest of the season and has been given permission to play in the FA Cup.

Mile Jedinak is expected to be fit after shaking off a sickness bug and boss Steve Bruce has no other fresh injury worries.

Bruce feels his side have been handed one of the sternest tests of the third round.

The 56-year-old guided former club Hull to the 2014 final, while Villa were runners-up the following year.

"We couldn't have asked for anything more difficult," Bruce told "But we have to hope we can play to our best and catch Spurs on an off day."

He added: "I was fortunate to win it as a player and fortunate to get to a cup final with Hull.

"It's one of the great sporting events of our country. To be involved in it is a fantastic feeling. From the build-up to the game itself, it's a fantastic occasion."




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