Game: Aston Villa v Swansea City
Date: Saturday 5th January 2019
Competition: FA Cup
Venue: Villa Park
At a glance
The FA Cup returns this weekend as Aston Villa prepare to take on Swansea City for the third time this season.
The Third Round tie is a chance for Head Coach Dean Smith to utilise his squad after four games in 10 days over the festive period.
The claret and blues defeated the Swans just 10 days ago – on Boxing Day – courtesy of Conor Hourihane's headed effort from an Alan Hutton cross.
The Welsh outfit were also Smith's first opponents in the job back in October, where Tammy Abraham netted in another 1-0 triumph.
A good crowd is due at Villa Park this weekend, with Upper Trinity having opened for the fifth successive match to accommodate the rising attendance figures.
Lovre Kalinic could start for the first time, following his official arrival at the club earlier this week.
Smith will choose between the Croatian and the recently recalled Jed Steer, who returned after a season-ending injury to Ørjan Nyland.
Neil Taylor and Henri Lansbury will feature in the matchday squad for the first time in a month.
Lansbury hobbled off in a cameo display against Birmingham City in November, while Taylor hasn't been seen since the 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion.
Smith could turn to the likes of Callum O'Hare, Keinan Davis and Jake Doyle-Hayes, who've not yet enjoyed minutes under the Head Coach but have been selected in some of his matchday squads.
Tammy Abraham won't play, however. A clause in his loan agreement prevents him from playing in cup competitions. Scott Hogan could start in his absence.
Easah Suliman is also unavailable, despite being recalled, due to international clearance regulations.
Jack Grealish and Axel Tuanzebe remain sidelined and are unlikely to be seen this month.
Ways to follow
Audio coverage of our FA Cup Third Round tie against Swansea City is available to ALL AVTV Live international subscribers this weekend.
We currently don't have the rights to stream video coverage of the cup competition.
The game isn't being shown anywhere else, meaning AVTV audio coverage is the best way to keep up-to-date with events at Villa Park.
Audio coverage is available to every country, including in the UK, Ireland and Channel Isles, for just £3.
Click here to purchase Swansea audio.
Extended highlights will be available on our Official YouTube channel from 12pm on Sunday 6th January.
"All my family keep telling me that 1957 was the last time that Aston Villa won the FA Cup.
"My son is also very aware that he was born on Christmas Day at 19:57!
"It's a big competition. It sometimes gets overshadowed now because of the big funds that are available in the Premier League.
"But I've told the players that unless you're at one of the top clubs in Europe, you only have three opportunities of winning a trophy per season.
"That means 45 or so chances of winning a cup or getting promoted across a career. It's not very many and they go by quickly.
"I've told them to take all of them seriously and to always try and grasp one of those opportunities.
"I also joked with them that we've got five FA Cup medals between us as a coaching staff. Unfortunately, they all belong to John Terry!"
There are now no match tickets available for our FA Cup clash with Swansea City.
We take on the Swans in the Third Round this afternoon with a 3pm kick-off.
The game is available to all season ticket holders and half season ticket holders FREE OF CHARGE – all you need to do is bring your season card to gain access.
In terms of general sale, the remaining tickets have now been snapped up, with fans moving quickly to take advantage of reduced prices.
Please don’t head to Villa Park today without a ticket as there will be none available for sale.