Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa: Preview, Team News & Predicted Score
Tottenham welcome Aston Villa to White Hart Lane tonight, here is a preview, including injury news and predicted score.
Another International break is over and we can get back to the important domestic business once again. What an International break it has been for Tottenham Hotspur’s players though! They obviously took their confidence from our league run onto the international stage as there were Man of the Match performances from Super Scotty Parker and Kyle Walker (on his debut no less) for England, Modric for Croatia as they qualified for Euro 2012 and Bale for Wales. Even Corluka scored! If this was an Orange advertisement it would probably say the future is bright, the future is Spurs! The only down side was van der Vaart limping off for Holland with a hamstring strain.
Tonight night we welcome Aston Villa to the Lane, for what is usually an entertaining game between the 2 sides. I can still remember the 4 all draw against them four years ago when we came back from 4-1 down to claim a draw with a last gasp Kaboul equaliser. We have, in fact, only lost one of our last eleven games against the West Midlands club at home and we are undefeated in the last five league games against them, winning three of them. Last season we did the double over them as both result were 2-1 in our favour or as I like to call it Rafa Van Der Vaart 4 Marc Albrighton 2 as both got all their respective teams goals.
Within Villa’s ranks they have two old Spurs boys and one that is also on loan from us, Alan Hutton, Darren Bent and Jermaine Jenas. The latter is unable to play for them due to the Premier League rules preventing loaned players playing against their parent club. Bent and Hutton will take their place in the opposition’s line-up and I am sure they will get a good reception from the Tottenham faithful even though they have both been very vocal about their time at Spurs and, in particular under Harry Redkanpp, since they have left. Many still feel that Bent didn’t get a fair crack of the whip whilst with us, especially under Harry, and how useful would it have been to have him still in the squad last season, as he has always scored goals wherever he has been, including ourselves when given the opportunity.
We also have to thank them for helping Kyle Walker develop quicker whilst he was on loan last year and I am sure Kyle views his time at Villa Park as an important phase in his career. Villa are currently sitting 8th in the league and whilst they haven’t quite clicked yet under their new manager Alex McLeish, who was installed after his predecessor Gerard Houllier was forced to give up the post with heart problems, he certainly has installed more steel into the side as they have only lost twice form their eleven games this season.
They made a good acquisition in the summer by getting Shay Given to replace a certain Brad Fiedel and Gabby Agbonlahor is seemingly back to his scintillating best. If he has recovered in time to play from the hamstring injury that he picked up on England duty he will be their main threat to us. One player with bags of talent that Villa signed in the summer is Charles N’Zogbia. Whilst at Wigan he showed how good he can be, but up until now he has not repeated that form for his new club. If he does tonight then Kyle Walker will be in for a tough night. Sillian Petrov is also in good form and loves to shoot from long range so we will have to be wary of that threat.
Whilst the International break was in full swing the news broke about Harry Redknapps impending court date. Whatever the outcome of that trial may be the talking about it is best left to the future and all I hope for is that Harry has recovered enough from his operation to take back the reins and be on the side lines tonight night. Apart from the possible enforced absence of Rafa, who Joe Jordan rates as having a 75% chance of playing and Corluka who has an ankle problem, the rest of the side will be the same that took to the field at Craven Cottage two weeks ago, as all our other international players reported back fit.
So I would imagine that Jermain Defoe will get his chance to shine in the side as I hope they won’t take a chance on Rafa, considering his problems this season with hamstring injuries. That means once again the spine of the team will be King Ledley, Scott Parker and Adebayor. Of course losing Van Der Vaart is a massive blow, especially in the form that he is in, but the squad is much stronger this year. Defoe would get in most teams first eleven and is himself in good form and we still have Modric, Bale and Lennon to be the creative force of the team as well as score some goals as they have been doing recently. Unfortunately Michael Dawson has suffered another setback in his recovery from his Achilles injury and could need another operation to clear up the problem which would keep him out long-term. Tom Huddlestone won’t be back until around Christmas and William Gallas is still recovering from a calf muscle strain he suffered on his own comeback from injury.
Aston Villa are in a transitional period and in truth, whilst they are a difficult opponent, they aren’t anything special (famous last words) and I can see Spurs continuing their best ever start to a Premier league campaign and making it eight wins from nine games. Villa’s run of only two victories from their last nine games and the fact they haven’t won away from home this season back this up. Spurs have a real chance here to continue their momentum into a very winnable stretch of games leading up to the new year, with us only playing one other top four side, Chelsea, during this period. It won’t be a stroll in the park but I am going for the same score as in our previous 2 games and a 3-1 victory. Of course my little boy will be predicting his usual ten all draw!
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