Aston Villa vs Spurs preview and form guide
AVB on Villa
“They have some wonderfully gifted footballers coming through, still learning and that’s why I value Paul Lambert’s work even more.
“The amount of players he has brought through is something remarkable, with results too. “I see them stepping up and charging for European places in the end.
“They are a tough team to play against, but we will be strong and will do our best.”
Kyle Walker on Villa
“I think Villa will be up for it, because each time we’ve gone up there recently we’ve played them off the park.
“Obviously they’ve got quality with Gabby (Agbonlahor) coming back and everything, so I think it will be a good game and we just need to stay focused and keep doing what we’ve been doing.
“We just have to stick to the things that we’ve been doing well. The West Ham game was a bit of a disappointment with the result and also being a local derby, but we need to bounce back and show the fans that we’ve got it in us to be up there right at the end of the season.”
Andros Townsend on Villa
“It was a disappointing day for us all [West Ham 3-0 loss], but we’ve had two weeks to put it to the back of our minds, and now we’re back to business and hopefully we can put the wrongs right and get three points.
“Villa are a good side. You’ve seen what they’ve done so far this season [beating Arsenal and Manchester City], they’ve been competitive, especially at Villa Park.
“They are a good side and we’ll have to be at the top of our game to get the three points.” (Er, don’t know about the “especially at Villa Park” bit – Ed)
Lambert on Andros Townsend:
“People are jumping on a bandwagon after a handful of games.
“There is great hype. When someone plays one or two games, suddenly he is a world-beater. Gareth Bale did it over a number of games.
“I don’t know the lad Townsend at all, but the last couple of games for England he has played well.
“We won’t take any special precautions. Spurs have a huge, strong squad of top players.”
Match Difficulty Grade
A+ Although Benteke is likely to make a return, Spurs will be keen to make up for their embarrassing home loss to West Ham – this will be a tough game.
Form is Temporary
01 January 2008 Aston Villa 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Two goals from two defenders (Mellberg and Laursen) ensured a Happy New Year for those at Villa Park, as they took the points that put Villa into sixth place. The last time we beat Spurs at home.
Aston Villa: Last five League matches at home: W 2, L 3
Tottenham Hotspur: Last five League matches away: W 3, D 1, L 1
In the last five Premier League meetings at Villa Park, Villa haven’t won, though we have drawn twice.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
There’s no denying that Villa’s home form needs improvement. Spurs will be looking to repeat the success they enjoyed in the Capital One Cup at Villa Park last month. Admittedly Villa’s team is likely to differ from the one that lost 4-0 in the cup, but Spur’s team will be a lot better too. While we’ve kept two welcome clean-sheets on the road of late, the last time we kept one at home was back in December. Another worry for Villa is the fact Phil Dowd is the referee for the game. In the past two years, in the month of October, Dowd has sent a Villa player off at Villa Park.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
We lacked a cutting edge against Hull and while a point from the KC Stadium wasn’t a bad result, hopefully Benteke will bring back the goals. Despite this, Villa played quite well in the Belgian striker’s absence, and with Bacuna and El Ahmadi chipping in the last time we were at home let’s hope we see more goals from other players. If there’s one thing we proved against Manchester City, we’re not a one man team.
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
It’s nice to see that Villa seem to have cut out the individual errors that almost cost us last season. Our defence is looking solid, and with players refreshed after the international break, this could be a good time to face a Spurs side reeling from an unexpected defeat. It might not be the case that Benteke starts the game, but he should have some involvement and will undoubtedly give Villa Park a lift. Spurs should take the game to Villa, which will suit us. The cat-and-mouse game between Spurs high-line defence and Villa’s counter-attack should be intriguing. With confidence high in the squad, there’s no reason we can’t cause another ‘upset’. UTV
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