They’ve Met Before
Tottenham are at Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup 3rd Round, the League Cup being a competition where the two clubs have met previously on four occasions with two of the matches played in the Midlands. Spurs enjoyed success in the opening two games but Villa have claimed the spoils in the more recent games.
The clubs have been regular opponents in the FA Cup but of their four League Cup ties, two have been played at Villa Park. Their first meeting in the League Cup was in Spurs’ second season of participation in the competition. Villa, on the other had been committed to the competition from the beginning and were its first winners in 1961.
The League Cup started in a very low-key fashion with Tottenham and a number of other clubs opting out as they had other priorities – namely competing in the European competitions. When the Final was moved to Wembley and the winner was guaranteed a place in Europe, suddenly everyone showed a greater interest in the League Cup.
Spurs first played in it in 1966, losing a 2nd Round tie at Upton Park when Alan Gilzean was sent off. They then missed the following year’s Cup as they were playing in the ECWC as FA Cup winners but have taken part since 1968.
September, 1968 v Aston Villa (a) Won 4 – 1 Chivers (3), Jones
This was Spurs’ first win in the competition. The goals came from a Martin Chivers hat-trick and Cliff Jones. Spurs went on to reach the semi-final that season but lost to Arsenal over two legs.
Tony Parks in Goal
Their next match at Villa Park in the League Cup was in October, 1987 in the 3rd Round. It was a difficult time for Spurs, David Pleat had left the club the previous week and while they awaited the arrival of Terry Venables the team was under the control of Trevor Hartley and Doug Livermore. At the time of this match they were in the middle of a 9-match run without a win in the League. The only relief was a 3 – 0 win over Torquay United in the 2nd Round at White Hart Lane earlier in the month. Spurs’ goal in the 2 – 1 defeat was scored by Ossie Ardiles and current Tottenham goalkeeping coach, Tony Parks, was in goal.
Tottenham won the trophy in 1971, defeating 3rd Division, Villa, in the Final at Wembley. Two second half goals by Chivers secured Tottenham’s first League Cup success.
At the Lane
The clubs last met in the League Cup in January, 1994, a 5th Round tie in the Coca-Cola Cup. Spurs lost 1 – 2 with the goals coming in 12 second half minutes. Villa went ahead after 57 minutes but Darren Caskey equalised seven minutes later. Villa scored the winner five minutes on.
Villa reached this stage of the competition with a 3 – 0 home win over Rotherham United. The comfortable win was achieved with goals from Weimann, Benteke and Delph. They opened the season with a 3 – 1 success at the Emirates and last Saturday they defeated Norwich at Carrow Road with a goal from Kozak. They survived a penalty, when Guzan saved the spot kick to prevent Norwich taking an early lead.
Villa have lost both their home games to Liverpool and Newcastle but they were unfortunate to lose at Chelsea at the beginning of the season. They rely heavily on their leading scorer, Christian Benteke, who has 5 goals but he had to come after less than half an hour on Saturday. His replacement was Kozak who scored the goal within 90 seconds of coming on. After the match Paul Lambert suggested that Beneteke’s hip injury wasn’t “too bad”.Tottenham
Spurs who have gone out of the League Cup in the early stages for the past three seasons will be hoping to make a better showing in the Cup this season but Andre Villas-Boas has major concerns about Spurs having to play two game sin three days. He is worried that the players who played at Cardiff could pick up an injury with having to play so soon. It will be Tottenham’s third game in six days and AVB will be looking to use his squad players but injuries are an added problem.