Aston Villa v Tottenham - Preview

After Arsenal’s 4-0 defeating of Blackburn, Aston Villa host Tottenham knowing a loss would leave them dissapointed in fifth place. Tottenham haven’t played since last week’s draw at Sunderland, and know that just a point will take them above Hull and Blackburn, and into eleventh place. A win would take them into the top half, but let’s not get carried away.

Arshavin helps fire Arsenal above Aston Villa in the table

Team News

The only players unavailble for selection by Harry Redknapp are Jermain Defoe and Alan Hutton, both suffering from their respective foot injuries, although the latter is expected to return to full training in the near future. The mdifield will most likely see no change, with Luka Modric adopting the wide left berth, and Jermaine Jenas partnering Wilson Palacios in the centre of the pitch. Aaron Lennon is expected to once again keep campatriot David Bentley out of the side, as Bentley, supposedly known for his delivery, couldn’t cross a boxer’s maths test.

Ledley King will start for the visitors, as he strives to play every game from now until the end of the season. The big selection issue facing the Spurs boss is finding a partner for Robbie Keane. Roman Pavlyuchenko seems the natural player to adopt that role, but Darren Bent was given te honours against Sunderland. The other main change that Harry made for the trip to the North-East was to play Pascal Chimbonda at left-back. However, I fully expect Benoit Assou-Ekotto to regain his place in the team.

   

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The team, most likely, will look something like:

                                    Gomes

Corluka          Woodgate          King         Ekotto

Lennon            Palacios           Jenas        Modric

                     Pavlyuchenko    Keane

Can We Win?

Whilst Spurs don’t have the best of away records, Villa have won twice as many games on the road, as they have at Villa Park, drawing seven out of fourteen home matches. The last time the sides met was towards the end of Juande Ramos’s regime, and a certain Mr Gomes was at fault a Ashley Young scored the winner.

 

On their day, Aston Villa are a formidable side, and look like they deserve their place in the top four. But on paper, the Tottenham squad is as good as, if not better than, the squad that Martin O’Neil posesses. If we get the creative Modric on the ball and let him work his magic, Villa could struggle to cope with the technical ability of the Spurs side. The players will also need to work hard and put in a lot of work if we are to come away with anything tomorrow. It could well be a case of “fittest team wins” at Villa Park, and the squad should still be fit from Juande’s strict diet.

Spurs had the chance to sign young whilst he was at Watford

My Verdict: I feel it will be a close game, although Villa will come close with a few chances making Spurs lucky to go into half-time at 0-0. But Gabriel Agbonolahor will open the scoring before an equaliser by Jonathan Woodgate.

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