Aston Villa look to remain out of the relegation zone on Sunday when they welcome Tottenham to Villa Park in the English Premier League.
Villa Park, Aston, England
Key Stat: Tottenham have won four consecutive and seven of their last eight against Villa in all competitions (1L).
Expert Verdict: Tottenham's away form this term has been appalling, and that is one reason that they find themselves only in sixth. Of course, there are other issues with the club, as they seem to be readying for transition. Still yet, many would consider them as favorites here. Villa are struggling, but they have produced some good home displays of late anyway. It will be tighter than many would assume, and it would not be a shock to see the hosts get something from Spurs.
Dean Smith has some major injuries, still, in the form of Wesley, Tom Heaton, and John McGinn. Along with them, Keinan Davis and Jed Steer are out of the picture as well. Ezri Konsa and Danny Drinkwater are not guaranteed to feature, but they look good in their battle for fitness.
Anytime you talk about Villa, then name of Jack Grealish has to quickly come up along with it. The English youngster, previously linked to Spurs, has been phenomenal and given them some hope with seven goals and five assists thus far. They’ll need him here if they are to pull something off. In goal, Pepe Reina is going to be a massive asset for them. The veteran shot-stopper has a ton of experience and will have to be huge for them against a strong Spurs attack that has improved recently.
Aston Villa have two losses, two wins, and a draw in their last five matches:
2-1 loss at Bournemouth
2-1 home win vs Leicester (EFL Cup)
2-1 home win vs Watford
1-1 draw at Brighton
1-6 home loss vs Manchester City
Defenders:Konsa, Mings, Hause
Midfielders:Guilbert, Nakamba, Luiz, Targett
Forwards:El Ghazi, Grealish, Samatta
Jose Mourinho remains without the services of main striker Harry Kane and midfielder Moussa Sissoko due to injuries. Gio Lo Celso, Erik Lamela, and Ben Davies are all said to be 50/50 to feature.
While missing Kane is far from ideal, Spurs still have quite the man to spearhead their attack in the form of Son Heung-Min. The South Korean has seven goals and assists so far, making him on the most versatile threats in the league at present. He’s also adept at drawing penalties, so that’s helpful, too. One man that’s been under the radar this term has been Serge Aurier. Oft criticized, he’s put together a quietly good campaign with four assists, making him a bigger worry than he might seem at first glance.
Tottenham have three wins and two draws in their last five matches:
3-2 home win vs Southampton (FA Cup)
2-0 home win vs Manchester City
1-1 draw at Southampton (FA Cup)
2-1 home win vs Norwich
0-0 draw at Watford
Defenders:Tanganga, Alderweireld, Vertonghen
Midfielders:Aurier, Ndombele, Winks, Alli, Sessegnon
Through 145 previous matches, Tottenham lead the way over Aston Villa with 64 wins, 32 draws, and 49 losses.
Here's a look at the last five results:
Aug 10, 2019: Tottenham 3-1 Villa
Jan 8, 2017: Tottenham 2-0 Villa (FA Cup)
Mar 13, 2016: Villa 0-2 Tottenham
Nov 2, 2015: Tottenham 3-1 Villa
Apr 11, 2015: Tottenham 0-1 Villa
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Aston Villa are at 3/1, a draw is at 14/5, and Tottenham are at 17/20.
Aston Villa will start the weekend in 17th place on 25 points through the opening 25 games of the season. That leaves them just one point above West Ham in 18th, meaning they remain embroiled in the middle of a relegation battle. They have seven wins all season, but one positive is that two of those wins- and seven points have come in their last five. They are not exactly in form, though, so this will be viewed as a tall order for them for sure.
Tottenham, meanwhile, will come into this match in sixth place with 37 points to their names. Two consecutive wins and a draw prior to that have boosted them and their chances of Champions League qualification, so much so that they are only four points behind Chelsea now for fourth place. Many still doubt their credentials, but if they can sustain this run, then they could win that melee that is heating up for those European places.
Villa’s home record so far this term has been far from brilliant. With that said, they have earned 17 of those 25 points at Villa Park, so if they are going to do something against Spurs, you’d assume it would be here and now. They have also won two of their last three in the PL at the ground as a bit of a boost. As for Spurs, they have not traveled particularly well thus far. They have just 11 points- with two wins and five draws- in 12 outings. They have just one win in the last five and have only two points from their last three road games.
Ladbrokes have both teams scoring at 4/7.
Betfair have Son scoring anytime at 2.4.
While Villa are not quite good enough to be a lock here, it’s also hard to say the same thing about Tottenham. Spurs are looking up a bit, but they will have to prove it on their travels before full confidence can be had in them.