Best Odds: 11/4
The FA Cup is back and that’s exciting for everyone, regardless of what team you support. This is the one competition that seems to throw up surprises more so than any other, and we absolutely love that. You never quite know what you’re going to get and we anticipate that theme will continue when Aston Villa take on Swansea City. Both teams harbour realistic ambitions of progressing into the Fourth Round, but an all-Championship tie is going to be particularly hard to call.
Aston Villa’s season has been a rollercoaster ride, and that’s putting it delicately. While they may not be leading contenders for promotion they’ve certainly got a brighter future than they may have done around six months ago, and Dean Smith is the primary reason for that. There seems to be a real purpose behind everything the club do, and while there’s still a long way to go, the early signs are good. If they can piece together a strong cup run then that’ll only help their confidence heading into the end of the campaign.
Many fans will be waiting to see whether or not Tammy Abraham will feature in this game, amid speculation that he could be leaving the club. Villa are expected to make a few changes, but the majority of the starting XI will be made up of legitimate first teamers.
While there wasn’t necessarily all too much expected of the Swans this season, they still seem to have left their fans feeling a bit empty. They’re currently lingering around mid-table, and with promotion seeming unlikely, perhaps a surge in the FA Cup is exactly what they need.
The expectation amongst Swansea fans is that they’ll go full strength for this one, given that they don’t have all too many hopes of gaining promotion this season. Despite that, the boss is set to make big changes in order to maximise his squad.
Factors to Consider
- The game will be played at Aston Villa’s Villa Park.
- Aston Villa have won one, drawn four and lost one of their last six games.
- Swansea have won three, drawn one and lost two of their last six games.
- Aston Villa lead 17-9 in the overall head to head standings, with three draws.
- In their last meeting on Boxing Day, Villa won 1-0.
The key word in our mind for this game is going to be ‘fun’. Both teams know that their passage into the next round isn’t a given by any stretch of the imagination, and that should make for quite the intriguing encounter. We’re expecting Swansea to try and come forward with numbers, whereas Villa will wait for their opportunity to strike in a more calculated manner. In the end, we think it’s going to end up as a draw, forcing a replay that either team will be all too happy about. Still, that’s the nature of the FA Cup.
Best Odds: 11/4
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