Aston Villa host Swansea in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, with both clubs looking to add some consistency to an unpredictable season.
The two sides are separated by just two points in the Championship table, making an already tight cup tie even harder to predict.
Villa are looking do much better in this competition than they did last season, losing 3-1 at home to Peterborough in the third round back in January 2018.
Swansea, meanwhile, made it all the way to the quarter-finals of last season’s edition, beating Notts County 8-1 along the way before being dumped out by Tottenham Hotspur in a 3-0 defeat.
Read on for Aston Villa vs Swansea live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.
When is Aston Villa vs Swansea City
Competition: FA Cup
Venue: Villa Park
Date: Saturday, 5 January
Kick-off: 3 PM GMT
Aston Villa head into this tie on the back of two consecutive draws in the Championship: 1-1 and 2-2 against Preston and QPR respectively.
Their last win came against Swansea in the form of a 1-0 away victory on boxing day, with Conor Hourihane grabbing a second-half winner.
Since then though, the Swans have rediscovered their scoring touch, drawing 2-2 with Wigan Athletic before a 4-1 away trouncing of Reading in their last outing.
Given that these two are five and seven points off the playoff places respectively, the FA Cup may not be top of the agendas of Dean Smith and Graham Potter, but a win for either side could kick them on to the kind of consistency needed to make a promotion push.
Where can I watch live?
Aston Villa vs Swansea City is not being broadcast live in the UK.
Will Tammy Abraham remain at Aston Villa?
Tammy Abraham has 16 goals for Villa already this season, putting him 10 clear of Jonathan Kodija as the club’s top scorer.
That number equates to a goal every 106 minutes and makes him an absolutely vital component to Dean Smith’s team, and pivotal to any promotion charge that he will seek to lead.
However, Villa fans will be very on edge at the moment, with reports emerging that Midlands rivals Wolves want to sign Abraham from parent club Chelsea on a permanent deal. It is also thought that Chelsea would consider recalling Abraham if they cannot secure any of their own strike targets in the January window, with Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata misfiring so far this season.
Dean Smith addressed the situation recently, saying: “Tammy has shown no inclination to go back to Chelsea. In the conversations I’ve had with him, he is enjoying himself at Villa and is developing as a player.
“He is very happy and you can see the connection he has with the supporters, the players and staff. We are very happy with the way Tammy is developing as a player and as a person.”
However, if the England international gets the chance to prove himself in the Premier League, Smith may be powerless to stop him, leaving a huge gap up front for Villa.
How will Graham Potter deal with the Swans’ striker crisis?
With Oliver McBurnie and Wilfried Bony both ruled out with the same virus as winger Jefferson Montero, Swansea head into this FA Cup tie incredibly light up top.
While Bony only has the one goal this season, McBurnie is the Swans’ top scorer so far with 10 goals, also adding three assists.
Potter is likely to turn to 23-year-old Courtney Baker-Richardson to fill the void, who has only managed one goal in 141 minutes of football this season.
The former Coventry man has been on the books at Swansea since August 2017 but hasn’t enjoyed a great deal of success at the Liberty Stadium so far. Saturday represents a big chance for him to make his mark.
This weekend’s game will be just the 30th time Aston Villa and Swansea have locked horns, with 12 of those previous meetings coming since 2011 with the two regularly competing in the same division.
Aston Villa have won 17 of the prior meetings between these two, losing just nine. The Villains have also won their last two games against Swansea, ending a run of five defeats against the Welsh side.
Aston Villa wins: 17 Draws: 3 Swansea City wins: 9
Jack Grealish is a major doubt for Villa with a shinbone injury, while ‘keeper Orjan Nyland is out with an Achilles tendon rupture.
Meanwhile, Potter is expected to ring the changes as Swansea are without strikers Oliver McBurnie and Bony, as well as winger Jefferson Montero for their trip to Villa Park, with all three having the same virus.
Predicted Aston Villa XI: Bunn; Bree, Elphick, Chester, Hutton; Hourihane, McGinn, Whelan; Bolasie, Abraham, El Ghazi.
Predicted Swansea City XI: Nordfeldt; John, Carter-Vickers, Cian Harries, Naughton; Fulton, Fer, Byers; Dyer, Asoro, Baker-Richardson.
Aston Villa vs Swansea City betting tips from FansBet
Just two points separating these two in the Championship makes this an intriguing game, however, Aston Villa will be more confident with the tie being at home and the fact that they have two 1-0 wins over their opponents this season already. Form Labs bring you their betting preview and tips for the game and if you are after some more value for the FA Cup 3rd round then check out our selection of acca’s and enhanced odds for the weekend’s games.
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