Tottenham v Villa 2015
It’s the moment that those who see football as a series of ‘scripts’ have been waiting for. Tim Sherwood is returning to Tottenham, and he will be eager to prove he should have been given the job on a permanent basis. A frantic 3-3 draw with QPR did at least show character for Villa, while Spurs last match saw them draw 0-0 at Burnley – another result that didn’t do us any favours. Both teams will be pushing for a win for different reasons, but who will prevail?
Spurs have won their last five league meetings against Villa
Vlad Chiriches on Villa
“I’ve seen Benteke and he’s on fire.
“I think we’re going to have a difficult game on Saturday because Aston Villa are fighting for survival and they will make it tough for us, but hopefully we can manage to put on a good performance and win the match.”
Sherwood on Spurs
“It’s a good club. They’ve been very good to me, Tottenham, over the years. I wouldn’t be sitting here as Aston Villa manager if wasn’t for Tottenham Hotspur.
“I have a lot of respect for that football club. I was pleased with what I did but I respect the decision made by Daniel Levy and his board. I haven’t got to agree with it. I just move on. I thank them for not being there now as it’s the reason I am at this fantastic football club.
“I do look back with immense pride, especially if you’re talking about the young players who have emerged to be regulars in the first team, there are probably three or four who are first names on that team sheet.
“You have to give a lot of credit to Pochettino for sticking with those boys also. A lot of managers would have gone, ‘No thank you, give me some of those players who end in an “I” or an “O”’ from foreign countries, who might not be as good as these young players.”
15th September 2008 Spurs 1 Villa 2
Circumstances were very different when the teams met at the start of the 08/09 season, and it was the side from London who found themselves in the drop zone. Goals from Reo-Coker and Young helped secure the points while a goal from Darren Bent gave the home side some consolation.
Tottenham – Last five matches at home: W 4, D 1
Villa – Last five matches away: W 1, L 4
Villa have not won at White Hart Lane since 2008
One to Watch
Harry Kane – Who else? The striker seems to be doing everything right. Scored a slightly deflected free kick against us in the reverse fixture and captained his side last weekend. Also, he’s scored six goals in his last four league matches at White Hart Lane…
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Tottenham. Another fixture against a team high up in the table, and another team who we never seem to win against.
They’ve won their last five league meetings with Villa – scoring at least two goals in each game. Having conceded three at HOME to QPR, this is seriously worrying.
Despite showing a decent attitude against QPR it might be difficult to score goals like that away from home. In fact, we’re the only team not to have gained points from losing positions on the road this season – a shocking stat!
Historically goals are hard to find in this fixture too. We’ve only scored six goals in our last 12 league matches against Spurs.
With injuries continuing to plague Villa we could be in for another long afternoon.
“I thank them for not being there now as it’s the reason I am at this fantastic football club.” – Sherwood on leaving Spurs
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Defensive resilience. Conceding three goals at home to a team in the relegation zone is simply unacceptable and without the Benteke magic could have ended in a loss.
With Senderos and Cissokho back from injury the team-sheet could however have a much more solid look, especially Cissokho giving Villa much needed strength at the full-back position.
The back four against QPR was surprising. Richardson instead of Lowton, who had been doing well at leftback, was an odd choice, and Okore might have been favoured over Vlaar who had just returned from injury.
Despite dominating lengthy periods of the match every time a ball ended up in our penalty box it seemed to cause problems for our defence. Spurs score a lot of goals at home and also have good character (they’ve gained a league-high 10 points from losing positions at White Hart Lane this season) so we will have to be alert defensively.
Benteke has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League appearances
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Despite our disappointing recent results, Spurs dropped points recently too, and there is a sense that Spurs’ season might just be tailing off.
They’ve played a lot of matches this season while featuring in the Europa League and with the season coming to an end it’s possible that performances may suffer from time to time.
Harry Kane is getting a lot of deserved attention but look how our Belgian striker is doing in a struggling side. Benteke has scored seven goals in his last five Premier League appearances, amazing when you consider his bad run of form under Lambert.
And we did at least show the sort of battling spirit that might keep a team in the division on Tuesday, even if the result was frustrating.
Also, Sherwood might have one or two tricks up his sleeve upon returning to White Hart Lane. Not only would it be in the football ‘script’ if Sherwood was to mastermind three points, it would also be most welcome as we approach a match against Man City and a certain semi-final.
We should have got more than a point against QPR, so hopefully Saturday will be the chance to win an unexpected point or three to make up for it.
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