COMMENT by Amir Mir
Steve Bruce must start Aston Villa academy sensation Jack Grealish against Tottenham in their FA Cup clash on Sunday afternoon at White Hart Lane.
The 21-year-old has been in fine form for his club this season and will be looking to make his mark against the Premier League title chasers.
Mauricio Pochettino will most likely field a weakened team, therefore it will give Grealish more of a chance to cause havoc on the opposition defence.
The England under 21 international’s biggest strength is his ability to carry the ball and beat players, something which will be needed if Villa are to progress through to the next round.
Grealish likes performing on the big stage and he did so when Villa reached the FA Cup final in 2015.
The boyhood Villa fan won the man of the match award as then-manager Tim Sherwood guided them to a win over Liverpool in the semi-final.
Villa have a tough task ahead of them as they bid to dethrone the north London club on home soil following their 1-0 defeat at Cardiff in the Championship on Monday.
Meanwhile, Spurs emphatically beat Premier League leaders Chelsea to maintain their unbeaten run at home this season.
Bruce’s side will not see much of the ball during the FA Cup encounter, therefore, they should make full use of when they are in possession.
Grealish is the player to provide them with that moment of magic as he did so when he scored a magnificent late winner against Wigan in December.
No doubt that this will be Villa’s biggest test of the season regardless of which team Pochettino plays as Bruce’s side bid to progress through to the next round and ensure they finish in the top six at the end of the season.
In other Tottenham news, BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has predicted Spurs’ clash against Aston Villa.